Re: Removing a leader
The Wizard (wizard@CANISIUS.EDU)
Thu, 2 Oct 1997 18:46:26 EDT
The first thing you should do to help calm everyone's concerns is to get the
facts about HIV transmission. If this leader gets a cut and bleeds, the boys
in the troop are NOT all going to spontaneously become infected. AIDS is
a scary disease and people often overreact to things they do not understand.
Look in your local phone book for an AIDS Community group that may have some
pamphlets or other info that you can use to educate not only the parents on
committee but your Scouts as well. I just took a quick look and found an
800 number for an AIDS Counseling and Information Hotline (1-800-590-2437).
Give them a call and see what they can suggest as far as getting the info
you'll need to make informed judgements.
As far as I know, there is no requirement for a leader or anyone else, for
matter, to volunteer their HIV status. I am rather surprised to hear that
the doctor even included it on his health form. I believe that is an
invasion of his patient's privacy.
With regards to protecting against infection, shouldn't the Troop already
have a "bloodborne pathogen kit" in their first aid kit?
I am sure these are not the sorts of suggestions you were looking for, but I
am afraid that it about all you can do. If you do decide to remove him as a
leader you will not only be setting yourself up for a nasty and probably
very public lawsuit but you will be breaking several points of the Scout
Law as well. You also need to keep in mind the impact all of this is going
to have on your Scouts. Do you really want to teach them that anyone that
is HIV+ is to be feared and shunned? Haven't we learned anything from the
horrible way AIDS patients have been treated by their communities in the past
ASM, Troop 108
Kenmore, New York
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City