Scouts-L Mail Archive for October of 1998: Re: new issue in MO (long)
Re: new issue in MO (long)
Steven G. Tyler
Wed, 21 Oct 1998 10:20:04 -0400
Jason Cruse wrote, in part:
> I just heard on the radio this afternoon that there has been an issue over
> Turet's Syndrome in a troop here in Missouri.
> Does anyone have any further information? This was reported on either CBS
> radio or National Public Radio news, I can't remember which.
Here's the article, from AOL:
Scouts Quit Over Boy With Disorder
By STEVE BRISENDINE
..c The Associated Press
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Russ Thompson could have put his 11-year-old
son into another Boy Scout troop.
That's what the parents of the six other boys in Troop 124 wanted. It's
what the regional scouting council wanted.
But it's not what Russ Thompson wanted for young Robbie, who has
Tourette syndrome -- a neurological disorder that can cause
uncontrollable outbursts and once caused Robbie to kick a boy at summer
Other parents have said they'll remove their sons from the troop and
most of its leaders have quit. Thompson has volunteered to be the
scoutmaster of Troop 124, based in the Kansas City suburb of Raymore.
``My wife and I helped charter that troop,'' Thompson said Monday. ``My
wife calls me hard-headed, but in a way, I guess I was trying to push to
see how far they would go. I didn't want them pushing my son out of
Scoutmaster John McLaughlin was among those who resigned after a meeting
Sunday in which scouting officials decided that Robbie could remain in
Robbie learned of the resignations when he came home from school on
``I feel angry, I feel mad,'' he said. ``I want to go back to being a
The issue, McLaughlin said, is the safety of other scouts. Tourette
syndrome is marked by outbursts of four-letter words, vocal tics and
occasionally results in violence. According to Russ Thompson, Robbie's
kicking incident at camp followed teasing by two other scouts; one child
suffered a bruised leg.
``We feel that our children's safety is at risk with Robbie continuing
to participate in activities,'' said McLaughlin, who has one son in the
troop and another who would have joined in February. ``We don't want to
see our kids hurt, and we (troop officials) didn't want to be in a
position of leadership when that happens.
``We know Robbie's a good kid, and for most of the time he won't have
problems,'' McLaughlin said. ``But if there's going to be a problem, it
may happen quickly and be unpreventable.''
Russ Thompson said he had tried to address the safety concerns.
``We know how to handle him when he starts getting agitated,'' he said.
``We have offered that education to the scout committee, and they're
just not interested.''
Robbie's parents rejected a transfer to a larger troop and the offer of
a ``Lone Scout'' program, in which he would work independently of the
``Robbie doesn't need to be by himself,'' his father said. ``He needs to
be around people.''
The troop's assistant scoutmaster and three of its committee members
have also resigned. But the troop, which has been in existence only
since March, still has the backing of its sponsor, the Raymore Christian
``I have no idea what the future holds,'' said the Rev. Rick Rintamaa,
whose congregation includes the Thompson family but does not include any
others associated with Troop 124. ``But the plan is to expand the troop,
which we do every year.''
YIS, Steve on Cattail Creek <Steven G. Tyler>, Severna Park, MD, USA
"The Computer Counselor," Technology Consulting for the Law Office
Advancement Chair and de facto Webmaster, Troop 339,
Baltimore Area Council, BSA (http://members.aol.com/troop339/)