scouts-l Mail Archive for June of 2000: Re: disciplinary dilemma
Mark Arend (mwarend@INTERNETWIS.COM
Thu Jun 15 2000 - 08:30:34 CDT
At 11:43 AM 6/14/00 -0400, Ken Thomas wrote:
>I am currently attempting to resolve what has become a long standing
>behavioral problem with a scout.
>The incident involved the scouts' explicit description of having sex with
>his girlfriend (he is 15, she is 18).
>Does the contract seem Ok to those out there? Is it too extreme?
Ooh, tough one. I don't envy you. But these things happen and we have to
deal with them. We went through this not too long ago (long story here).
The boy (about 15) had been something of a disciplinary problem,
disrespectful, acting out, temper tantrums, etc. He had done well, though,
in positions of Scribe and in collecting weekly dues. Last year at Summer
Camp we tried to give him a little more responsibility--since none of our
regular TLC was along we chose him as camp PL. He made a hash of the whole
thing and did very poorly in his MB classes. About mid-week his mother
came up to camp and he did better (and I got to wondering if his good
performance in his other jobs had been due to Mom's sitting on him or maybe
actually doing the work).
Anyway, a couple of weeks after camp we sat him & his mom down and talked
about his behavior problems--a fairly long session. Main points: 1--he
had some problems and he needed to change his attitude & behavior. 2--we
were confident he could do so but it would be a lot of work. 3--we would
help & support him but the work would be his. 4--we wanted him to succede.
Over the next few months we didn't notice a whole lot of improvement. When
we saw something unacceptable we would, privately, point it out to him and
remind him of his promise to do better. The end was reached on a campout
in February when we learned he'd been showing porn to the younger boys. At
the start of the next meeting we grabbed him & Mom before the meeting, went
over his lack of improvement since the fall, discussed his behavior on the
campout, and told him that he could no longer be a member of our Troop. We
warned him that, if his behavior continued in this direction, he was
heading for real trouble in later life. We wished him well and suggested
that he seriously think over what we had said.
And yes, because of the possible Youth Protection implications of the final
offence we did report it immediately to our SE.
Point 1: you can't afford to ignore this sort of problem. If you do the
behavior problems will just escalate. Human nature (and not just kids) is
to do whatever you can get away with. If you show where the boundaries are
from the start, and enforce them, you'll probably have good behavior. If
you don't it will get worse.
Point 2: you're in the hot seat because others have not done their job.
You need to do more than a written contract. Perhaps a counseling session
with some of the adult leaders & his parents.
I'm running out of space so point 3 in next posting.
Mark W. Arend, Scoutmaster Outside of a dog a book is
Troop 736 Man's best friend. Inside
Beaver Dam, Wisc. of a dog it's too dark