Sunday, October 24, 2004

A Scout Is Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly...

...unless you are somehow abnormal.

Both Snabby and I did the Boy Scouts thing (in the same troop, no less), and we both made a lot of good memories there. Sharing a campsite near Eagle Creek with a couple of deer. Sitting in an alpine meadow with naught but Mt. Hood behind, naught but forest below, and naught but a wonderful, blue sky above. Huddling in a small "pup tent" during a rainstorm. Watching the scoutmaster trip and slide down a glacier. Playing D&D in an adirondack shelter overlooking the ocean. Memorizing knots. Building fires. All those songs and skits.
Yes, despite its mixed reputation, Scouting could be a very good thing.
However, Snabby and I both learned that it is also an organization that has more than its share of hard-arses and the same sort of self-righteous, sanctimonious "good, old boys" that are responsible for our current administration.
First the B.S.A. was blatant and adamant in its discrimination against gays. Then it went down on atheists. Now, it appears, the knotted stick of judgement is falling on people of lower than average I.Q..
To be fair, the article never says anything specific concerning just how the boy in question was behaving. (Tellingly, the pack leaders that decided to bar him are refusing to give any concrete information.) However, even in my Boy Scout troop, we had a couple of boys whose behavior could only be called disruptive, even violent, but we were told by our leaders that they had just as much right to be there as we did. Learning to deal with them, they said, was part of growing up. They were absolutely right, too. After all, learning to deal with life with your own, two hands on your own, two feet is supposed to be what scouting is all about. WAS supposed to be what scouting is all about.
I guess now it has changed into an exclusive social club for pretty Christian boys.


ladybug said...

I guess as a former teacher, I'd have to have more info. Since the mom was helping out, it sounds like the scout troop is being mean; BUT in a school I worked in we had two kids who had Asberger's Autism, (a high functioning type); one child's parents were very pro-active, had her in all kinds of therapy, worked with the teachers and you could see progress every year. They especially didn't want her to "get away" with throwing tantrums, or not doing the same work as the other kids. She's in 4th grade and doing great. The other was a disaster, the parents screamed, and yelled, accusing teachers, other kids, and other kids parents of "being mean" (the kid was a spoiled brat-with autism!). He physically attacked people all the time. They didn't do any therapy until he was 6, when they pulled him out to go to a public school, "where he can get the help he needs!", Duh! So since this lady just adopted these kids, and works all the time, has she researched what's the best thing for these kids? It's very individual too. If they're behind socially, throwing them into a boy scout troop with no preparation is a recipe for disaster. Has she created a stimulating environment? or does she use the TV/Video games as a babysitter while she's trying to get everything done? Like I said, there are two sides to every coin, and I'd like to see the other side before I make any firm decision.

The Moody Minstrel said...

Oh, I hear you, Ladybug. I happen to be a teacher myself, and I know how parents can be. Our school is currently being sued by the mother of a girl that we refused to allow to graduate because she skipped school for almost half of her final year so she could live with her drug-dealing friend...and when she did come to school she spent almost half of her class periods disrupting other classes so as to visit her friends or smoking or drinking bottled cocktails in the restroom. I wanted the school to either kick her out or have her institutionalized, but the vacuous idealists among the faculty kept going on and on about her "right to an education", how she just needed love, she was just misunderstood, blah blah. In the end, I actually wound up giving her a bigger break than any of them, but I'd told her in no uncertain terms that she'd had to earn it, and she had. It wasn't enough to save her sorry, miniskirted arse, though.
The funny thing is that, when that girl was attending the school more faithfully in her younger years, her mother wanted absolutely nothing to do with her and threw a screaming fit if any of the school faculty even mentioned her daughter to her. She kept saying, "That girl is no longer my problem." But when the law landed on that girl, the mother suddenly changed her tune.
Sad isn't it? What's even worse is that she and her husband are both longtime members of the government of Sawara City. Respected pillars of the community.

Anyway, I did mention that the article didn't specify how the kid was actually behaving. However, it's also true that the pack leaders that decided to bar the kid refuse to say what was wrong with the kid's behavior. They just gave the notice that they were barring the kid and left it at that with no further discussion. That, to me, makes it incredibly callous at the very least and suspicious at the very most.