Ineligible files

And the beat goes on…

Today I received a comment on the blog about my last post.  It seems that an Irish Scouter is a bit unclear as to my position and/or does not see consistency in my opinion.  He asked 4 questions and I thought.. just to kick this horse a little more.. I would not just hit ‘approve’ on the comment and leave it at that.  Nope, you all will get the pleasure of reading my response and lets see where it lands.
His questions are as follows.. oh.. and my response.
1. If this list that is due to be released has someones name on it that has never broken any law nor can they be seen as a danger to a youth how are they able to clear their name.?
First of all, lets remember where this list comes from.  No one’s name is on the list unless they put it there.  The files are generated from applications submitted by the person to become a member of the BSA.  It is during the checks that the person is deemed ineligible.  So, they can clear their name by not getting into trouble in the first place.  NO.. I have no sympathy for anyone that has or will hurt a child.  In short the person in the file or list will have “self identified” themselves as someone who may potentially be a risk.
Second point on the files.  Who is going to see them.  These files are not going to be released to the local newspaper and will not be placed on bulletin boards in lunch rooms across the city.  The BSA has been instructed to make the files available upon request.  I know for certain that I will never see these files, nor will 99% of the public.
2. If someone who is public about their homosexual yet was a member as a youth but as soon as they turn 18 they must then leave because they may be a risk and find themselves on a list.
That is the current policy, has nothing to do with the files.  Nowhere on the Boy Scouts of America Application for membership is there a question about sexual orientation.  So given the current practice of background checks it will never come up.  Most of us in Scouting really don’t care about the sexuality issue.  But to answer the question.. Nope they would not “find themselves on a list” as this is not a piece of information that is on the application and I am sure not part of a background check either.
3. Should all military service personal be barred from American scouting. Some have fired on innocent children in a combat zone some may suffer from ptsd at a future date. ?
Yes All military service personnel should be barred from American Scouting… ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?  NONE have fired on innocent children in a combat zone.  OH… unless you served with LT. William Calley in My Lai Vietnam.
This is a non issue.  A soldier that commits a crime is a criminal and the Military, unlike civilian courts drop the hammer.  This would make him a convicted felon and therefore he/she would be ineligible to serve in Scouting..just like any thug that would fire at innocent children.
I did two back to back tours in Iraq and served in the Army for 21 years.  Never saw what you suggest.  Stop watching Vietnam war movies.  I am sure you think we all smoke dope and drink too.  I have been diagnosed with PTSD.. but then again, they diagnose everyone with a combat identifier.. I earned a CIB (Combat infantryman’s Badge) and a Bronze Star.  My PTSD only flairs up when people that don’t know what they are talking about pop off.  If you want to talk about firing at innocent civilians I have story I could share about British Soldiers in the Basra area that would make you puke… but that is neither here nor there…. we are talking about Scouting right.  Oh and don’t forget our founder served in the Army.. I am sure that his soldiers were angels.
4. How can you stand by as your organization prevents personal who follow the scout law and are being honest about being gay and then kicked out and their name added to a list FULL of people who break the law. ?
John, you claim to read the blog.  I outlined my position on this issue in this post REACTION.  Again.  They would not be “on the list”.
OK this horse is now officially kicked.  In John’s opening statement of his comment he said, “I read your blog and have done so for a while, this is the second time that I nearly deleted all links to your site…”  I hope that you find my response satisfactory John, if not then I invite you to delete my feed from your reading list.  I am not changing my thoughts and ideas because of comments.  You asked how I can stand by our organization?  Well that is simple.  Even if it has issues, the Boy Scouts of America, the Scout Association, Scouts Canada, and all of the other 160 some odd Scouting organizations are still the best youth program on Earth and I am not willing to throw the baby out with the proverbial bath water.. are you?
Have a Great Scouting Day!


OK.  Everyone take a deep breath and step away from the ledge.  There is way to much chatter about files being released and who is going to have to answer questions in the media etc.  Relax.
Once again, I have been poked and prodded to give my opinion on the subject and true to form I have one and I will be consistent in my measure.

1.  Who cares that the list or files have been released?  Let me tell you who cares.  People that are on the list.  If you are on the list, how did you get there?  If you got there because you are a threat to Scouts.. I Love that you are on the list.  So who cares.  The people that care are people I want to see on this list and I really don’t care that everyone knows it.
2.  So what?  What is the big deal that the list or files have been released.  Well I get why the BSA looks at is as a big deal.  And so do I.  We don’t want kids getting hurt.  It’s that simple.  Who among you want a Scout to get hurt.  None, right, so when the BSA puts in a “file” system designed to protect our Scouts it is a good thing.  This is only an issue because people that hate Scouting is getting their grubby paws in it.  I would first ask them why it’s not a good thing to keep a file on an ineligible person.  The reason is for protection.  If only we could have a file in our Schools and Church’s.  I was asked why the BSA needed these files and to me it’s simple.  The BSA unlike any other youth program actually cares enough not to allow potentially bad people in the organization.
People that would argue that these files are not necessary do not understand youth protection.
3.  Now what?  So the files are out there.  Does that change anything?  Nope.  We are still going to do background checks, we are still going to screen for potential  issues when it comes to youth protection, and we are still going to turn away people that may do harm to our Scouts.  There will be no concession given to a previous offender, and there will be increased awareness and training to prevent bad things from happening in the future.  If you don’t like that.. Oh Well.  Go somewhere else.
So now what.  The BSA is the best youth organization out there.. hands down.  It will continue to be the greatest well into the future, because it cares about our Scouts.
Everyone take a deep breath and get back to doing the work of Scouting.  If the media calls, direct them to the Scout Executive.  If your friends ask, tell them what we do to protect our youth, and if you can’t handle it.  Do nothing, Either way, Scouting will be just fine.
Have a Great Scouting Day