Re: Removing a leader
Ron Raab-Long (raablong@VOICENET.COM)
Fri, 3 Oct 1997 09:14:51 -0500
Patrick Heller wrote:
>The leader is HIV +, and has been for several years. He knew he was
>HIV + when he applied to become a leader, but did not disclose it, even
>when asked about any medical problems at the time of application, which
>is when he had disclosed that he is a hemophiliac.
>Needless to say, the HIV +/Hemophiliac combo had the leaders very
>concerned. There are several parents on their committee, and when
>they found out ( due to discussion as to how to handle this ), they went
>ballistic, to say the least. Those parents are now threatening to
>pull their kids from the Troop if the leader doesn't leave.
First of all, it seems the reaction the committee had to this leader's being
HIV+ clearly shows why he would have wanted to keep it quiet.
Unfortunately, this happens all too often. People fear what they do not
understand. I'm sure your Council would love someone to come in to give
them advice on how to handle this.
It seems the Troop has few options. Obviously, what's best for the Scouts
is more important than what the leader's parents want for their afflicted
son - or what your committee wants. I'm assuming he isn't gay, and
developed HIV through blood transfusions, or other "no-fault" methods, so
you can't remove him under those circumstances. While he must be removed
from any activity that puts himself, or others, at risk, you can't remove
him from Scouting just because of someone's unfounded fears. Its this type
of knee-jerk reaction that gave the world leper colonies and
Japanese-American Concentration Camps during WWII.
His physical limitations and hemophilia may keep him from outdoor
activities, but there is no reason why he can't serve Scouting in some other
capacity. Maybe as a member of committee, doing membership, PR, or
something where he wouldn't put others at risk or come into direct contact
with the Scouts.
On the other hand, Scouting is a private organization. The Chartering
Organization has the right to remove any leader it wants, without cause.
Losing Scouts, however, is a darn good reason to remove a leader and should
hold up in court. Hopefully you won't need to go this far and a compromise
can be worked out.
Best of luck to you, your leader, and to your Troop.
Two Bays District, Dover, Delaware DelMarVa Council
District Recognition Dinner Chairman Used to be a Bobwhite, NE-VI-35
Boy Scout Training Coordinator Problem Captain, Delaware OM
E-Mail: email@example.com CC, Troop 903
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City