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Bullying Policy

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#1 Fehler


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Posted 09 June 2016 - 03:12 PM

An ASM in our Troop is insisting that the Troop adopt a formal Bullying Policy (the lack of one in their former Troop, and refusal to adopt one after repeated incidents, was a reason they joined our Troop).  They want more than a generalized "Bullying is Bad" statement, which is all I get from the official BSA statement, and is what our Troop currently has.  They want a statement with specific levels of interdiction and escalation.


Does anyone have something like this, or a guide/example that we can follow?  When googling, I found one Troop who had something posted like we were looking for:  http://troop185welle...ying policy.pdf


Any thoughts?
Boy Scouts of America Youth Protection Policy excerpts:
“The Boy Scouts of America places the greatest importance on creating the most secure
environment possible for its youth members.”
“Bullying, verbal, physical, and cyber bullying are prohibited in Scouting.”
Boy Scout Troop 185 Bullying Policy
Anti-bullying statement:
A safe Scouting environment is one in which every Scout develops emotionally, intellectually,
and physically in a supportive atmosphere free of intimidation and abuse.
Bullying of any type has no place in a Scouting setting.
Troop 185 will endeavor to maintain an environment free of bullying
The Troop 185 Troop Committee and the leadership shall not tolerate bullying.
“Bullying” is the repeated use by one or more individuals of a written, verbal or electronic
expression or a physical act or gesture or any combination thereof, directed at a victim that:
(i) causes physical or emotional harm to the victim or damage to the victim’s property
(ii) places the victim in reasonable fear of harm to himself or of damage to his property
(iii) creates a hostile environment at a scout function for the victim
(iv) infringes on the rights of the victim at a scout function
(v) causes the scout to feel like they cannot participate in a scout activity
Part 1: Any incident of bullying shall be reported immediately to the unit leader in charge at the
- The unit leader and both sets of parents will confer to come to an immediate resolution.
Resolution A: Bullying scout apologizes and victim accepts apology (preferred outcome).
If bullying persists the offending scout will need to leave the event.
Resolution B: If accord cannot be made between the two scouts the bullying scout will
need to leave the event immediately.
Part 2: A second incidence of bullying by the same scout at a subsequent event shall result in the
expulsion of that scout from the event. A written warning will be issued by the unit leader.
Part 3: A third incidence of bullying by the same scout will result in expulsion from the Troop.
Part 4: Any incident of physical bullying shall result in the immediate expulsion of the offender
from the event.
Part 5: The second incident of physical bullying results in immediate expulsion from the Troop.




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#2 Troop185



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Posted 09 June 2016 - 03:20 PM

I have nothing to say, except you have a good Troop number!

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#3 RememberSchiff


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Posted 09 June 2016 - 04:09 PM

When done, I think troops add bullying to an existing Code of Conduct. Googling that may produce more results.


This may help.



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#4 David CO

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Posted 09 June 2016 - 04:33 PM

My Chartered Organization already has an anti-bullying policy in place.  Since my scout unit is a youth program of the CO, and all of the CO's policies apply to my scout unit, I see no reason to create a separate policy.


My advice would be to first check if your CO already has a policy in place. 

Edited by David CO, 09 June 2016 - 04:34 PM.

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#5 MattR



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Posted 09 June 2016 - 04:47 PM

I would absolutely hate to be the SM that has to deal with that protocol, @Fehler. Any incident of bullying shall be reported immediately. Does that mean an adult has to be in every patrol at all times? If bullying is the repeated use ... then how many incidents are required before it's considered bullying, at which point it has to be reported? But wait a minute, part 4 implies that one incident triggers a response of throwing a scout out of an event. So what is bullying? Any stupid stuff kids might get involved in? And the adults have to deal with it. What if one scout is pushing buttons and another scout just wallops him? Is that a bullying incident? One strike and you go home? And what about all the scouts that just sit around and watch this spectacle? Any discussion with them about standing up for what's right?


This parent is upset about what happened before. That might be a good place to start. Figure out what happened and talk about what the response would be. For me, someone broke the Oath and Law. After that it's all the same. If this parent absolutely wants a protocol with 8x10 color glossy photos with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one, then you have an anal parent on your hands. It's not the protocols in place that make a safe environment, it's respect for the Oath and Law from everyone in the troop.


In my troop, if scout A is picking on scout B then it tends to come up. Scouts talk. I listen. I'll talk to scout B, then A, then ask them to get together. Then they shake hands. Then it's over. Better yet, one of the older scouts does this. That handles 95% of the problems. Everyone knows who scout A is and he starts making a name for himself. If it continues then typically Scout A loses friends and quits the troop. Besides, that's probably what the scout wants anyway. Every time I see a scout do incredibly stupid stuff and shows no remorse it's because he doesn't want to be in scouts.

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#6 MrBob


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Posted 09 June 2016 - 05:13 PM


In my opinion, there's no need for a specific "bullying" statement when we already have
- "On my Honor, I will do my best to ... obey the Scout Law", and
- "A Scout is ... Loyal, ... Friendly, Courteous, Kind, ..." 
That pretty much covers it.  

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#7 Stosh


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Posted 09 June 2016 - 05:31 PM

In my first meeting orientation with the boys they are told that if anyone complains to me that they are being bullied or threatened in any way, the person causing the bad feelings will be kicked out of the troop immediately.    I get a verbal yes of agreement from every scout every year. 


When asked where the boundaries are in regards to this, it's "Take care of your buddies."  and if belittling others and making them upset is how one takes care of their buddies, then they need to be moving on down the trail, but not with this troop.  No


In all the years of working with youth I have never had a bullying incident reported to me.


I tell my boys if someone does anything inappropriate to you, tell your PL or another scout. If they don't listen, tell the adults in the troop.  If they don't listen tell your parents and if they don't listen, tell a teacher, a neighbor, the pastor, and if NOBODY listens, DIAL 911, THAT person will listen!


If one has to have a written policy in my troop.


1) Take care of your boys.

2) If one isn't going to do that and makes the lives of those around them miserable there are no second chances.  Once and you're out.  No discussion.


This applies to all three of my rules for the troop.


1) Safety first, emotional safety is just as important as physical safety.

2) Look and act like a Scout.  Duh!

3) Have fun.  Victim isn't having fun.


Bullying breaks all three rules at the same time.  YOU'RE GONE!


No one has ever tested my resolve on this issue.

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#8 qwazse


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Posted 10 June 2016 - 05:25 AM

This seems like a violation of my rule #1 (don't ask for a rule, you'll regret it).

Why are the parents doing this? Was their son a victim, and they are trying to protect boys in a similar situation? Or, was he a perpetrator, and they are trying to absolve guilt?
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#9 Tampa Turtle

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Posted 10 June 2016 - 07:01 AM

I think the policy (which are like some of our Troop) is too long and legalistic. I liked Stosh' approach. The occasional event ban by a SPL/SM decision is usually the way we go.

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#10 Beavah


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Posted 10 June 2016 - 10:09 AM

Yah, hmmm...


Like da rest, I would encourage yeh not to go this way, @Fehler.   These things always sound good, sorta like zero tolerance policies and mandatory minimum sentences, eh?   In application, all they do is cause grief and injustice.  They also increase your liability.   Don't try to turn Scouting into a legal system. 


Da reality is that responding to bullying always depends on the ability of adults to relate to and be alert to kids, and to have vision and guts.   Writin' a "policy" doesn't help the adults have guts to respond to bullying, and policy-responses make it harder for adults to relate to kids, eh?  No lad ever decided to stick up for a bully because there's a legalistic adult policy out there. 


Policies don't create an anti-bullying culture, they create an anti-stupid-adult-policy culture.


What yeh want is to have adults who by word and example teach kids, especially older boys, to care.   Adults who relate well to kids, and are alert to kid behaviors.   Adults who have the intestinal fortitude to respond forcefully when needed, and the wisdom to know that should be rare. 


We teach kids to care by usin' the Oath and Law, eh?   We get adults who are good at this game by recruiting constantly and carefully selecting 'em, eh?   Policy is a weak substitute for either.



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#11 T2Eagle


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Posted 11 June 2016 - 02:57 PM

The best anti-bullyng policy is creating a culture that is intolerant of unkind or disrespectful treatment of anyone by anyone.  If you  have a policy such as the one listed you will soon find yourself in pointless arguments about whether a particular bad behavior does or does not meet the definition of bullying.  Skip that part, bad behavior is bad behavior and will not be tolerated.  


This is one area where adult intervention by me is swift and sure, if I see a scout being mean to another I pull them aside then and there.  If things happen out of my site my youth leaders and non leaders alike know that they should step in and if its anything consequential --- from the victim's point of view --- than I need to know about it.  I have told my fellow adults the same thing, nip things in the bud, react when you see it, and the chances of it becoming a long term problem are reduced to near zero.


In my opinion the most important consideration is the recipient's view point.  If a scout says "well I don't mind if guys tease me" you have to point out that clearly the person they're teasing does mind, and if what you're doing isn't objectively a kind thing to be doing than if someone is bothered by it what you are doing is unkind.  Unkind is a violation of the scout law, we live by the Oath and Law, period. 

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#12 jr56


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Posted 16 June 2016 - 10:56 AM

Scouting already has a bullying policy in effect, it is known as the Scout Oath and the Scout Law

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#13 SSScout


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Posted 28 June 2016 - 06:46 AM

Anti Bullying Policy:


"Do unto others that which you would have done unto you".

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#14 DuctTape


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Posted 28 June 2016 - 08:15 AM

I am late to this party, my thoughts have been stated. The Oath and Law are sufficient. I only commented to give Props to MattR for the Alice's Restaurant reference. 

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#15 meyerc13


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Posted 28 June 2016 - 09:19 AM

I remember being bullied and seeing others bullied in high school.  It wasn't fun.  Maybe I was lucky, but I can't recall seeing any bullying when I was a scout in the 80's.  Having been bullied, you would think I would be in favor of anti-bullying policies, but in fact I'm really not because from what I've seen, they don't work.


Take the policy above:

  • causes... emotional harm to the victim
  • places the victim in reasonable fear of harm
  • creates a hostile environment
  • infringes on the rights of the victim
  • causes the scout to feel like they cannot participate

The problem I see here is that this is all about how the 'victim' perceives things or what the 'victim' feels.  If you put yourself into the shoes of the 'bully', what are you not supposed to do?  It isn't clear.  Take the case of the breastfeeding mom mentioned in another thread... she clearly felt victimized and bullied according to her comments, yet I doubt that was what the Scout leader intended. 


You can't make the bully responsible for how someone else feels.  We all need to take ownership of our own feelings.  What you can do is lay out what isn't acceptable behavior.  Something like:

  • No hitting, pinching, biting, kicking, grabbing allowed.
  • No taking things that don't belong to you without permission.
  • No name calling.
  • No jokes about other people, religions, ethnic backgrounds, etc.
  • No cussing.
  • No threats.
  • If you see someone else picking on someone, tell them to knock it off.  If they don't tell a leader or you are just as guilty as they are.


Or, as others have said, we could just refer them to the Scout Law.  I think it covers all of this and more.

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Yours in Scouting,


Chris Meyer


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Cubmaster 2013-2016

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#16 Stosh


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Posted 28 June 2016 - 09:39 AM

Whenever I see some sort of "tendency towards bullying", i.e. the PL mandating a boy go get water or clean a latrine, I simply ask the questions, "Is this how you "help other people at all times?"  It generally clears up the situation rather quickly.  After a while, one can hear the PL's using that line as well.  "Helping other people at all times" pretty much takes bullying off the table without having to make any rules, regulations or by-laws to deal with it.

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#17 John-in-KC


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Posted 29 June 2016 - 08:12 AM

Good advice here!  @Fehler, the Scout Oath and Law aren't broken.  Don't fix them.,  Use them as your tools in the box to keep bullying from happening.  Use the techniques described here.

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