Posted 29 July 2003 - 11:20 AM
Here's one for the discussion heap.
The new scoutmaster and the chairman of a troop are on a camping trip (non-scouting) with their sons and some other boys from the troop). During a campfire session, one of the boys (not one of the sons) who was the SPL said that another boy (not on this trip) from the troop had allegedly been molested by another scout on at least three separate occasions.
The leaders immediately phoned the parents of the alleged victim and tell them what had been told them and identified the boy who had allegedly done this deed. The parents needless to say were extremely upset. Once they returned from the camping trip, the SM, CC and the father went to the scout executive to report the matter. What transpired at the meeting is unknown, however the Scout Executive apparently took the appropriate actions required under the youth protection guidelines. At no time did the parents of the alleged victim actually contact the parents of the alleged perpetrator once they knew who he was.
These matters take some time to investigate, but apparenly not fast enough for the SM who filed a police report on the matter. This was not requested or done by either the parents or the Scout executive - he did it on his own initiative because he felt the investigating bodies and the scout office were not moving fast enough on the matter.
The parents of the alleged perpetrator were given a "heads up" by the CC that the scout office was going to be taking action against their son, but would not tell them what had been reported or what he had been accused of. They received a letter from the scout executive later stating that their son had not met the standards of membership in scouting and that his membership had been revoked. The boy was a Life Scout, with 5 years in scouting, had been to jamboree, was a ASPL, and had no behavior problems or accusations of anything (in scouting or out) against him up till that point. The boy was not an aethist, was not homosexual (declared or alleged), and met all the standards of scouting and was a good scout.
It took the parents nearly 6 months to find out what the accusations (anyone involved int this matter from the scout executive to the troop members refused to tell the parents what had transpired) were and then to investigate the allegations. In reviewing the alleged incidents, it was found that there was no motive and actually no opportunity for the events to have actually happened. Both boys, plus 25 other adults and boys were at all three events and the boys paths actually did not cross without other adults or boys being with them.
Additionally, the parents of the alleged perpetrator were never contacted by Child Welfare or police to investigate the matter. Not even a phone call, letter, summons, home visit, etc. These agencies had the family's address and phone number and could have contacted them at any time and did not.
However, what was rather interesting in all of this was that within a week of the SM filing the police report on the matter, the alleged victim's family packed up and left the state.
There were a lot of suspicious circumstances surrounding this matter. The boy who was accused never had his "day in court" to face any of the accusations and refute them. His parents went through the entire appeal process with the Boy Scouts to have his membership reinstated based on the fact that these were allegations and not proven, but it was turned down at all levels.
I guess you could say the youth protection guidelines do work. As soon as someone is accused of wrong-doing (whether they are guilty or not), they are immediately evicted from scouting. Possible a good policy, but it becomes a "star chamber" process in that the accused is accused, tried, found guilty and punished without ever seeing the charges facing them.
Just thought I'd throw this one for a discussion that is not based on gay or aethist issues.