scouts-l Mail Archive for February of 2000: Re: YPT: 2-deep and 1-on-1
CHUCK BRAMLET (chuckb@AZTEC.ASU.EDU
Wed Feb 02 2000 - 01:28:06 CST
Here we go, again... :(
Katherine Coates writes...
>Sorry, but you are taking a risk in assuming that as long as there
>are two boys with a lone adult it is safe. There is nothing to
>stop the two boys from concocting a story. And having the same
>story coming from two boys makes it more believable to law
>enforcement. And hey, guess what? Even your own mother won't
Well, I don't think the mere presence of another adult is going to
prevent any false accusations from being made. As a society, we
have taught these kids that when it comes to this subject, "kids
don't lie". But they do all the time. I doubt that following an
overly strict interpretation of the YPP will eliminate that.
For that matter, I think the book should say "another adult, not of
the same family", since the legal types can probably use marriage to
say that the spouse really isn't a "second person". So the
presence of the SM's wife in the meeting room wouldn't really be "2
deep". I'm not trying to argue with what KC says, but I doubt that
I would put much faith in that protecting me from a determined wacko.
Is the court going to believe 2 adults? Or the 10 kids that swear
that "Mr. A did something bad with Billy, and Mr. B was watching"?
There is, after all, the story from a few years ago about the sub-
stitute teacher in the Chicago area that was accused of child
molesting by 10 students. When the police finally figured out that
the story was false, he'd lost his teaching certification, his wife
had filed for divorce, and his life was ruined. Of course, as soon
as the news media found out that the story wasn't true, they dropped
it. So I never did hear of the final outcome. I hope he sued the
kids and their parents, and collected _big_.
But even standing outside with the boys until a second leader arrives
is dangerous, per the referenced scenario. The only solution, there,
would be for 2 _unrelated_ leaders to arrive simultaneously. Other-
wise, either one could be "alone" with the boys for a short time.
And I'm certainly not going to unlock the building and let the boys
in, and stand outside because there's no other adult around. If the
boys are so untrustworthy that I have to stand outside until another
leader arrives for fear of unfounded allegations, then they're too
untrustworthy to allow in the room unsupervised.
>Two adults at all times, meetings and outings included. Period, end
>of story. The only time you are considered even remotely safe alone
>in the presence of two boys is when one of them is your own son.
And not even then, by these scenarios.
Here is the official line, quoted from the _current_ edition (loose-
leaf, 1998 Edition) of the Scoutmaster's Handbook. "Trailhead 11;
Working With Boys" page 133 (under the section heading of Sexual
Abuse, page 132) comes the following quote:
"In addition to carefully choosing adults to be leaders, the BSA
structures further protection for children into its programs. The
following policies have been adopted by the Boy Scouts of America to
provide additional security for youth and to protect adult leaders
from situations in which they might be vulnerable to allegations of
"* _Two Deep Leadership_. (Bold text) Two registered adult leaders
or one leader and a parent or guardian of a participant, one of whom
must be at least 21 years of age, are required on all trips and
outings. The chartered organization is responsible for ensuring
that sufficient leadership is provided for all activities. This
requirement also applies to the activities of provisional Troops
and of the Order of the Arrow.
"* No one-on-one contact _. One-on-one contact between an adult and
a youth member is not permitted. In situations that require personal
interaction, such as a Scoutmaster conference, the meeting must be
conducted in view of at least one other adult.
"* _Respect of privacy_. Adult leaders must respect the privacy of
youth members in situations such as changing into swimsuits, or
taking showers at camp. In similar situations, adults should also
protect their own privacy.
"* _Seperate Accommodations _. When camping, no youth is permitted
to sleep in the tent of an adult other than his own parent or
guardian. [snipped discussion of female accommodations.]
"* _No secret organizations_. Their are no secret organizations
recognized within the Boy Scouts of America. All aspect of Scouting
are open at any time for observation by parents or guardians and
"* _No hazing_. Physical hazing and initiations are prohibited by
the Boy Scouts of America and may not be included as part of any
"* _Appropriate attire_. Proper clothing is required for all
scouting activities. Skinny-dipping is not condoned by the BSA.
"* _Junior leader training and supervision_. Adult leaders must
monitor and guide the leadership techniques used by junior leaders
and ensure that BSA policies are followed."
>Please, please for your own personal safety and reputation, do not
>put yourself in a compromising position. That is what BSA means by
>two deep. How many more times do they have to say it and how much
>further do they have to go to make you all understand? IMHO Youth
>protection should really be called "adult protection."
We do the best we can. We _cannot_ protect ourselves from _every-
one_. If we follow the rules as written, we are no less safe than
If we run the Troop like a "boot camp". All the book says about the
meeting place is "no one-on-one contact". While I won't argue that
it might be a good idea to have another adult around, I doubt it will
offer any further protection, and may create a false sense of
security. To get %100 protection, we'd almost have to have all the
parents stay for all meetings, and go on all outings, just to ensure
that we are all "safe".
Chuck Bramlet -- I "used to be" an Antelope! WEM-10-95 Member DNRC
ASM Troop 323, Firebird District, Grand Canyon Council, Phoenix, Az.
"When we lose the right to be different, we lose the privilege to
be free." -- Charles Evans Hughes
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