Re: hazing problems (fwd)
Ian N Ford (ianford@DIRCON.CO.UK)
Fri, 12 Sep 1997 20:45:09 +0100
I wrote an article a while back outlining my own experience as a victim of
bullying ... personally I use that word rather than " hazing " because at
least for a user of British English hazing is too mild a term. It was a
"tradition" in my troop in the 60s to cover new Scouts in mud then throw
them into the river. The trouble was the kids did not know that I was
asthmatic. I hyperventilated and turned blue ... at that point the ASM
who was supervising realised it had gone too far. I decided then that if
I stated in Scouting and became a Leader I would make sure that no Scout
went through the same experience.
I have run sessions on bullying for Cub Scouts and also raised the issue
with Scouts. One method is role plays where one kid plays the victim and
another the bully and a third is the observer - then you chang
roles, and finally there is a de-brief and discussion.
The UK Scout Law includes " A Scout has self-respect and respect for
others " which says it all. The BSA Scout Law has
Trustworthy - we ought to be able trust fellow Scouts not to hurt us
physically or emotionally.
Loyal - being part of a group we respect each other as part of our
" gang " ... and the Patrol <is> a gang, but in a positive sense.
Helpful ... Friendly ... Courteous ... Kind - enough said
Obedient - there is a National " no hazing "policy.
Brave ... most bullies are cowards who put down others because of
their own insecurity.
Reverent - certainly the Christian religion has a code of treating
others as one would wish to be treated, and as far as I am aware this is
a common theme of all religions.
Part of each BSA rank involves living according to the Oath and Law ...
making other people feel bad is not Scout-like behaviour. I would say
that you don't need any other rules or code than the one we have in the
Oath and Law. I tell kids that this is a volunteer organisation. When
they joined they voluntarily accepted the Oath and Law. They can honour
the commitment that entails, or they are free to leave. There can be no
middle path.In my opinion everyone in a leadership role has to promote
these core values by personal example, and by challenging hazing every
time it happens. That means junior leaders, Scouters and Committee
members, trainers, commissioners ... all of us.
Ian N Ford
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City