Scouts-L Mail Archive for June of 1999: troubled boy/hostile parents
troubled boy/hostile parents
Tue, 29 Jun 1999 19:24:08 -0500
Some of you may recall my posts several weeks ago about a troubled boy in
our troop, and possible repercussions. Since now action has been taken
twice, let me update/vent.
At our last committee meeting (May), I was assigned by the committee to
speak with the parents of this troubled scout. You may recall that this is
the young man who states at meetings that he doesn't like scouting and says
the opposite to his parents (and he even claims its because "that's what
they want to hear"). He is, as should be no surprise, a problem at
My assignment was to talk to the parents and attempt a resolution, hoping to
find a way either for behavior to improve, or the young man to voluntarily
leave, since he dislikes it so much. Leaving is not an option; according to
the parents, "he made a committment, he's going to stick with it." No
indication of how long, etc. With his current attitude and behavior,
advancement beyond First Class won't happen, so how long he must stay is a
concern (he's been with us just over a year).
His parents suggested that they start coming to meetings with the young man.
This was acceptable to us, and they began attending. The young man's
behavior improved, from disruptive to "nonparticipation." Hey, sitting in
the corner by himself is better than tearing things up, etc. (yes, he does
have a diagnosed behavior problem, that mom and dad refuse to have
Last week, mom and dad did not make it to our meeting. And the disruptive/
destructive/threatening behavior returned. At the committee meeting on
Sunday, the committee unanimously, after long discussion, voted to suspend
the young man for one month, including summer camp (with full fees to be
refunded). At the end of the month (the beginning of August), he is welcome
back, provided his behavior improves. The committee chair was designated as
the one to call the parents.
The call was made this evening. After I received an irate call from the
father of the young man (during which the chair was called several names,
legal action was threatened, etc), I called the committee to confer with
him. He informed me that, as I knew, his conversation did not go well, and
that he had not had a chance to explain that the boy was only suspended, not
In any case, the parents are irate, to say the least. Dad made the comment
that "no one can do this to me over the phone; they'd better be prepared to
tell me this in person." Which the committee is. As it happens, we have
boards of review tomorrow night, which means a significant portion of our
small committee will be there. Early. It appears that mom and/or dad may
show up to create a ruckus.
The senior patrol leader is now also informed of the decision. That wasn't
going to happen until our meeting (rather, just before our meeting), but I
also found out that the young man who has been suspended is calling his
friends in the troop (including the SPL) telling them "not to believe
anything you hear from the troop" about him. Several of them are spending
the night together tonight (not including the one who has been suspended) at
the home of, as luck would have it, a committee member. She is going to try
and settle the group down.
Okay. There. I have a) vented, b) let off steam, c) vented some more, and
d) relieved frustration. It has been an interesting and trying evening.
And through all of this, tomorrow night's meeting has to move
forward--repairing our troop trailer so it can make it to the Seabase and
back in a week.
If anyone has any words of encouragement, thoughts, suggestions (please, the
day has been long enough--the boys parents have more flames inside of them
than anyone on this list can possibly even THINK about sending me), feel