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A Message From the Mecklenburg County BSA Scout Executive
Mecklenburg Scouting Family,
Regarding some of the recent news headlines, we wanted to share some additional information and insight that will address questions you probably have.
First and foremost, know that every instance of suspected abuse has and will be reported immediately to law enforcement and we cooperate fully with authorities.
Our Chief Scout Executive Michael Surbaugh held a press conference this afternoon to address the recent coverage of the volunteer screening database and youth protection efforts. The objective of this news conference is to provide context for the information that was shared yesterday, correct inaccuracies, and reiterate BSA’s continuing efforts to protect youth.
Over the last two days multiple news stories have been released about the Boy Scouts of America regarding decades old allegations of child sexual abuse. The coverage stems from a concerted effort by the plaintiffs’ attorneys suing National BSA, who released a coordinated media campaign yesterday in New York and New Jersey.
Boy Scouts of America has some of the strongest barriers to child abuse found in any youth-serving organization. We believe youth and adults who voice concerns. We report abuse to authorities and we provide support and unlimited counseling. In addition, the accused volunteers are removed from Scouting and prohibited from participating in our programs. Some additional specifics to our youth protection policy include:
All leaders must be registered and BSA performs a background check.
Youth protection training is mandatory for all registered leaders.
We provide educational materials for parents and Scouts.
We require two registered adult leaders on all trips and outings (two deep leadership always).
We teach the three R’s… Recognize, Respond, Report
In the 1920s, a list was created by the National BSA Council for ineligible volunteers, a Volunteer Screening Database. This list is at the forefront of national youth protection procedures and conversations. While it has often been misunderstood and criticized, time and time again it has successfully prevented potential predators from re-joining our organization and gaining access to youth. That is precisely why we have been maintaining these records.
If someone has been reported and convicted, they will be on the National Sex Offender Registry. In 2007 the Centers for Disease Control recommended that all youth-serving organizations keep this type of list to protect youth.
We fully support and advocate for the creation of a national registry overseen by a governmental entity to allow all youth serving organizations to use this information to protect their youth!
Every instance of suspected abuse is reported immediately to law enforcement and we cooperate fully with authorities.
This list of ineligible volunteers has been used for decades to keep volunteers from trying to re-join the BSA.
We advocate for a formal process/registry overseen by a governmental entity to leverage the use of our list, and the list of other organizations, to protect youth.
The BSA will continue to enforce our policies and require youth protection training to keep all our members safe.
We will also continue to provide immediate support and unlimited counseling to members who have been victimized by a predator.
Please know that the safety and welfare of our Scouts and leaders is paramount. The Youth Protection program, put in place decades ago is a robust set of standards, guidelines and training developed by the Boy Scouts of America to eliminate opportunities for the abuse of youth members.
If you have any questions or would like to speak with us directly you are welcome to call or email us.
Mark Turner Craig May
Scout Executive Council President