Scouts-L Mail Archive for June of 1999: Re: MB counselor registration question
Re: MB counselor registration question
Bruce E. Cobern
Tue, 15 Jun 1999 21:49:14 -0400
> From: Cheryl Singhal [mailto:csinghal@CapAccess.org]
> Sent: Tuesday, June 15, 1999 8:33 PM
> And let someone who ISN'T abusing a child sue the Council for well-meant
> interference and we'll see a sudden and immediate (not to mention
> dramatic) drop in the "need" for such training. Remember the Kidnapped
> Child hoo-haw of a decade or so ago? Heck, I *knew* it was 90%
> psychological and still got suckered into it.
Actually, that is not the situation that I believe will change things. The
one that I feel will ultimately blow up in our faces is where camps say that
there are absolutely NO adults allowed in the youth bathrooms/showers. What
that means is that, by definition, these minors are left unsupervised in an
inherently unsafe area. Especially with Cub Scouts I believe this is
ludicrous. I also believe that it is NOT mandated by policy. As I recall the
section in the Cub Leader's Guide it says something like "to the extent
practical" Scouts are entitled to their privacy, etc., etc. I envision a
Scout, probably a Cub. getting seriously injured in an unsupervised shower,
whether he was fooling around (no, not a 8 or 9 year old) or not and then
watching the judge and jury laugh hysterically when the question goes
Q: Well, who was supervising these 8 year olds at the time?
A: Our youth protection policy says that no adults are allowed in the showers
when the boys are showering.
Q: Then you are saying that a group of 8 year olds was allowed unsupervised
access to a shower room where they could slip and fall, fool around, wrestle
with each other, and get injured?
Q: And you have how much available in assets for this boy and his family?
If you want to say you need TWO adults in the shower AREA supervising the
youth, fine. But NONE? A major lawsuit waiting to happen. I'm surprised it
hasn't happened already. At that point I think some of this youth protection
paranoia will disappear. Ultimately, I believe lawsuits like that and
defamation of character lawsuits from innocent volunteers who are improperly
accused and removed will cost the BSA far more than the lawsuits from the
potential victims of child abuse. Especially if everyone is careful about the
rules regarding one on one.
Bruce E. Cobern
Founders District, Queens Council, NY