scouts-l Mail Archive for November of 1999: Re: Arrow of Light
Joseph Alessi (JosephAlessi@COMPUSERVE.COM
Mon Nov 22 1999 - 14:37:41 CST
Robert F. Reeder asked:
> Let me take it a step further. Are you then saying that it is possible
> for a 15 year old boy, who wants to join, but is ________ (you fill in
> the blank) to be turned down because the almighty troop leadership feels
> that it is in the best interest of the boy?
> I can hear the cries of racism, bigotry, and everything else as I
> contemplate what can happen with such an attitude within troop
No individual has a "right" to be a scout. BSA has gone to court to protect
our right to choose our own membership.
So, under the current BSA rules (and BSA's interpretation of the law of the
land), a unit can decide to deny a boy membership for any reason. We as
scouters do not have to agree with the reason. A boy can be rejected
because he is a "troublemaker", the other boys don't like him, he has body
odor, his religion doesn't fit in with the chartered organization, "we just
don't want anyone else", "our policy is not to accept ADHD kids", he
"espouses a homosexual lifestyle", he is an atheist, he is a KKK youth
member (if there is such a thing), he is an unwed father, he sells drugs, he
uses drugs, he is an alcoholic, he smokes cigarettes, he brings dirty
magazines on campouts, he won't go camping because he hates the outdoors,
he's an NRA member, he believes in gun control, etc.
Now if I think that a unit is doing this for the wrong reason, I will try to
use "moral suasion" to convince them to change their minds. But there is no
way for National, the Council, or the District to force a unit to accept
someone. Only the Chartered Organization has control over this (Remember
the case in the news last year where an entire cub scout pack quit because
the CO was convinced by the bad publicity to accept a boy they didn't
want?). The only option for the Council is to revoke the charter of the
unit and close it down entirely.
Vice-Chair, Program Lafayette District
ASM Troop 313, Cradle of Liberty Council
Quartermaster, Jambo 2001 Committee
Adviser to the Treasurer, Unami Lodge One
I used to be an Owl!