Re: Eagle BoR
Ian N Ford (ianford@DIRCON.CO.UK)
Sun, 19 Oct 1997 15:40:59 +0100
Interesting question ... you say it was Halloween - was it a prank that
got out of hand rather than something deliberate and malicious ? Has the
Scout learned from the experience ? Was it a case of getting in with the
wrong peer group and if so has he changed ?
I don't think that whether he has been charged / convicted is the issue.
It was in the press ... how about asking his side of the story ?
This issue needs to be raised in the Scoutmaster's Conference before he
is presented to the Board. The SM needs to discuss this with the Scout,
<in confidence> and then decide what to put in his submission to the board.
Maybe the Scout would feel able to raise the issue himself, either orally
or in a letter to the board.
If a letter has been submitted to the Council and the board has knowledge
of it then natural justice requires that he is informed of the
allegations and given a chance to refute them or at least give his side
of the story. Make it clear that he is <not> being " tried " for the
alleged offence, but that it is an issue for the board.
If board members are honest, I think everyone will at some stage in their
youth have done something that could have resulted in trouble ... maybe
they were found out, maybe they weren't. The question is, has the young
person learnt from the experience and changed for the better ?
" You can't put old heads on young shoulders " is a good saying ... we
are in the business of building character. That means helping all our
youth to reach their potential. We shouldn't, IMHO, allow one isolated
incident, if that is what is was, to amount to a veto.
Sure it has to go in the scales, and one would be looking for " weight of
evidence " of positive character to offset it. Lawyers talk of " double
jeopardy " i.e. being tried and punished twice for the same offence. If
he has been involved in the legal process ( even if that meant a caution
or no action taken ) then it would be unfair to punish him again be
witholding the award if he merited it in other respects and had, to use a
religious phrase, " repented " . That is a good word, actually, because
repentance means coming to terms with the wrong we have done, and trying
to do better next time.
Ian N Ford
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City