As usual we are hearing only one side, that said there are very few things that anger me more than a SM acting like a dictator. Possibly because when my scoutsons #1 and #2 were in a troop which changed SMs. we had to deal with one. We spent about a year fighting the good fight, but ended up transferring to another troop in the end along with most of the older scouts, As Andy from netcommish said it is very difficult to change a troop from the bottom up.
Re: demerit policy A troop can have its own rules but not when they conflict with national bsa guildlines. What this " scoutmaster" has done is way way out of bounds. The term Scoutmaster is like unto the british Schoolmaster, Is means teacher, guide, mentor. Not "Master of the scouts" with a rod of iron.
The best Scoutmasters can keep order in a meeting with just a look, the good ones with a few words to the offending scout,,the not so good ones with a loud lecture, but stripping a rank for talking in a meeting? Words fail me. This is not what scouting should be, and the boys are being cheated. Worse they may think that this is the way all troops are run and just quit outright. I know I would
Advice? If you cannot get the CC and the Cor to sack this guy, take your son and as many other scouts as you can and go. Sometimes all you can do is vote with your feet. Even if you can get Council to force the SM to stop stripping rank, my bet is that he will just find some other way, no PORs, no OA, KP on all campouts etc Sad to say people like this rarely change