Boy Scouts of America strengthens policies after newspaper investigation alleging child abuse issues
Organization posts open letter detailing policies
Last Updated: 245 days ago
The Boy Scouts of America, smarting from a Los Angeles Times investigation, said it is strengthening its youth protection measures.
The newspaper investigation suggested the organization hid child abusers and didn't report alleged molesters to police.
That investigation covered case files from 1970 to 1991. The scouts say one instance of abuse is too many, but those days are gone forever.
The Boy Scouts of America has about 2.7 million scouts and one million volunteers.
An open letter was posted on the Boy Scouts of America website Monday night.
"There have been some weaknesses and flaws as there are in all policies. The letter says they have strengthened those policies. They are on top of them, especially with criminal background checks," said 72-year-old John Ramsay, who has been one the leaders of the troop at Tuxedo Park Baptist Church since 1976.
The letter spells out other safeguards. Adult volunteers must complete youth protection training and renew that training every two years.
Two adults must be present at all scouting activities.
The Boy Scout handbook has a pamphlet to teach kids how to resist and report abuse.
And suspected violators are immediately and permanently banned from scouting.
Dr. Eric Yancy is a scout leader; his son is an Eagle Scout. He applauds the new guidelines.
"I think the fact they have established written guidelines (is positive)," Yancy said. "There are a lot of organizations… that have a lot of children involved that don't have written policies. I'd rank the Scouts and their program right at the top."
The Crossroads of America Council would not comment on the open letter, and they referred RTV6 to the national office.
But local troop leaders are excited about the new efforts, especially since they are on paper.
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