Zero Tolerance…

That is what the Boy Scouts of America feels about Bullies and Harassment… and so do I.
There is no room for bullies or harassment of any kind within the BSA. There simply is no place for it. A simple review of the Scout Oath and Law will not allow for it.

The 2008 requirements now discuss this issue. And I for one and glad. I know this is old news for those of you that keep up with the changes annually, but, like youth protection this needs to be discussed each year.
The new Tenderfoot requirement states:

9b. Explain the importance of the buddy system as it relates to your personal safety on outings and in your neighborhood. Describe what a bully is and how you should respond to one.

The first thing a Scout should know is that he can trust his leaders. He needs to Report any violation of safety or harassment by a bully. As leaders we can not be everywhere, nor should we, but we need to be out in front of these issues and get on top of them as soon as it is reported.
The Second Class requirement that address’s this issue is:

8b. Explain the three R’s of personal safety and protection.

The “three R’s” of Youth Protection convey a simple message that the BSA wants its youth members to learn:
Recognize situations that place him at risk of being molested, how child molesters operate, and that anyone could be a molester.
Resist unwanted and inappropriate attention. Resistance will stop most attempts at molestation.
Report attempted or actual molestation to a parent or other trusted adult. This prevents further abuse of himself and helps to protect other children. Let the Scout know he will not be blamed for what occurred.

And the First Class requirement that discusses bullies and harassment is:

12. Describe the three things you should avoid doing related to the use of the Internet. Describe a cyberbully and how you should respond to one.

With the Internet, email, text messaging, and other electronic media out there, all of which make our lives better, we need to understand that with everything there are precautions that we need to take. Again we need to be out in front of the situations and prepare for the worst.

With the new requirements, the BSA has stepped up its ZERO Tolerance of harassment and bullies. There just is no room for it in our Troops and the in the BSA.
Getting on top of a bad situation and defusing it, discussing it, and taking appropriate actions are key in providing a safe harassment free environment for the Scouts to enjoy their experience in Scouting.

Happy Scouting!

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