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Boy Scouts to Require Background Checks
AP | 11/27/02 | IRA DREYFUSS

Posted on 11/27/2002 11:10:23 AM PST by kattracks

WASHINGTON, Nov 27, 2002 (AP Online via COMTEX) -- The Boy Scouts of America will require criminal background checks of new adult volunteers beginning next year, it announced Wednesday.

"New volunteers to the Boy Scouts will have to submit for criminal background checks as of this spring," spokesman Gregg Shields said. The checks will be based on new application forms in which the applicant gives permission for the checks to be done, he said. The forms must be filled out by adult volunteers for scouting's varied arms, including Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and Explorer.

Those who do not get clearance won't be allowed to join, Shields said.

The organization's national executive council engaged ChoicePoint, an information management company, to handle the program, which scouting will call VolunteerSelect, Shields said. ChoicePoint will review national and state government databases, he said.

The requirement will take effect April 1, allowing time for the new forms to be distributed and for the policy change to be explained to all of scouting's volunteers, Shields said.

The spokesman says the backgrounds of current adult volunteers are not being checked. But he says that might be required in years to come. There are 1.2 million adult volunteers in scouting, but the number of new volunteers varies from year to year, Shields said.

'We have as our highest goal to protect the children involved in Boy Scouting," Shields said. "To date, it's been difficult to do such a background check because all of the data is not in one spot."

Membership will be prohibited if the checks turn up convictions for sex crimes, crimes of violence, or drug offenses.

Findings in the background checks will be divulged only to the chief executive of a regional scouting council, who would tell local-level scouting officials only that an applicant does not meet the standard, Shields said. Those who are rejected will be given the opportunity to review and challenge any adverse information.

Other youth organizations, such as Little League, already require background checks of adult volunteers.

The background checks will supplement existing requirements for youth protection, which are conducted on regional and local levels, Shields said.

By IRA DREYFUSS Associated Press Writer

Copyright 2002 Associated Press, All rights reserved




TOPICS: Culture/Society; Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bsalist

1 posted on 11/27/2002 11:10:23 AM PST by kattracks
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To: kattracks
Memo to NAMBLA: Get lost.
2 posted on 11/27/2002 11:12:26 AM PST by Extremely Extreme Extremist
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To: kattracks
Memo to a totalitarian police state: Come here.
3 posted on 11/27/2002 11:14:10 AM PST by coloradan
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To: Extremely Extreme Extremist
Somehow I doubt that background checks will do anything regardling sexual offenders. Until they are caught, most of them have a pretty clean background as far as any checking goes.
4 posted on 11/27/2002 11:14:51 AM PST by Dimensio
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To: kattracks
I think background checks would be a good thing to protect the boys and Boy Scouts. The Boy Scouts themselves are doing them and not the government.
5 posted on 11/27/2002 11:17:15 AM PST by afuturegovernor
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To: coloradan
to be a "police STATE", wouldnt it have to be instituted by the government? its just further steps into not allowing open gays to be in the organization.
6 posted on 11/27/2002 11:27:55 AM PST by MacDorcha
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To: kattracks; Clint N. Suhks; yendu bwam; Grampa Dave; *bsa_list
Bump & Ping
7 posted on 11/27/2002 11:29:31 AM PST by EdReform
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To: coloradan
So you are all for predator homosexuals being allowed to roam free around Boy Scouts!

You are the fascist when you tell me that my church can't do a background check on any new hire from priest to baby sitter! We have been doing this for two years now. We just hired a new Curate and did a background check on him before he was hired. Only a facist who loves sexual predators would tell me that I can't do these checks to protect our children.

However, keep posting to show how you guys are more than glad to help your sexual predator members/buddies gain access to children.
8 posted on 11/27/2002 11:34:25 AM PST by Grampa Dave
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To: Dimensio
That is pure baloney. Most of the sexual offenders gay and straight have a police blotter of offenses. These clymers are serial offenders in most cases.
9 posted on 11/27/2002 11:35:44 AM PST by Grampa Dave
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To: Grampa Dave
So you are all for predator homosexuals being allowed to roam free around Boy Scouts!

Yes, because we all know that background checks would stop them.

Somehow I've a feeling that most of the men who've been busted for sexual abuse within the BSA didn't have much of a criminal record beforehand.
10 posted on 11/27/2002 11:35:57 AM PST by Dimensio
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To: Grampa Dave
So can you provide examples of many offenders caught in the BSA who could have been stopped with a background check?
11 posted on 11/27/2002 11:36:30 AM PST by Dimensio
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To: EdReform
See replies 8 & 9 above.
12 posted on 11/27/2002 11:36:33 AM PST by Grampa Dave
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To: kattracks
I have been a Boy Scout adult volunteer for almost eight years now. No background check was required there. As soon as I started working with the high school band, I was subject to a background invenstigation (and passed with flying colors).
Now the Scouts will be better aware of our volunteers background.
13 posted on 11/27/2002 11:39:18 AM PST by WilDave
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To: kattracks
Scout leaders in WA have been subjected to background checks by the WA State Patrol for years.
14 posted on 11/27/2002 11:39:47 AM PST by PeoplesRepublicOfWashington
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To: Dimensio
All I know is that churches when they start BGC's have found those applying for a job and they weren't hired.

I'm not affiliated with the BSA but several churches have not hired people with criminal backgrounds and sexual predator backgrounds. I have no problem with that. You apparently want to expose our young people to these criminals and potential or documented predators!
15 posted on 11/27/2002 11:40:57 AM PST by Grampa Dave
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To: Grampa Dave
You apparently want to expose our young people to these criminals and potential or documented predators!

No, I don't. You're a jerk for suggesting it. I'm simply concerned that such 'checks' won't be effective and might create a false sense of security.
16 posted on 11/27/2002 11:42:51 AM PST by Dimensio
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To: kattracks
Since the Boys Scout asked for this, I am not against it. But I am curious as to who will pay for it. Article does not say.
17 posted on 11/27/2002 11:48:51 AM PST by Magnum44
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To: Dimensio
No, I don't. You're a jerk for suggesting it. I'm simply concerned that such 'checks' won't be effective and might create a false sense of security.

Reading your posts it seems that you are against the checks. Do you think it is safer not to check? That seems illogical. Do you deny the possibility that safety might be increased by performing checks? That seems quite obvious.

And yet you seem to be against the checks. By a private organization. This is not government control. This is private enterprise conducting it's business as it sees fit. Are you against that?

18 posted on 11/27/2002 11:51:02 AM PST by ClearCase_guy
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To: ClearCase_guy
They can check if they want, since they are a private organization. I'm not about to tell them what to do. I am concerned that checking won't be as effective as they hope and that it will create a false sense of security.
19 posted on 11/27/2002 11:55:27 AM PST by Dimensio
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To: Magnum44
I would assume that it would be paid for with membership dues.
20 posted on 11/27/2002 11:56:10 AM PST by Dimensio
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To: kattracks
Good! However, I was a volunteer for a number of years, and I thought the scouts did background checks. I find it surprising that the scouting association did not.
21 posted on 11/27/2002 12:23:45 PM PST by lilylangtree
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To: kattracks
I had a a background check to be a camp counselor. Why did it take so long for the BSA to institute this?
22 posted on 11/27/2002 3:03:12 PM PST by rmlew
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To: coloradan
You really think that? Do you rent rooms in your house without doing credit checks? No?!?! You are a shill and a pidgeon then. And if you do, your double-standard is showing.

Memo from BSA: Predators, stay out!
23 posted on 11/27/2002 3:11:48 PM PST by WOSG
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To: kattracks
They've got to keep out the SCUM.
24 posted on 11/27/2002 3:50:14 PM PST by INSENSITIVE GUY
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To: WOSG; MacDorcha; Grampa Dave
It's true a police state requires a government mandate which BSA clearly lacks. However, I suppport the "punishment eventually ends" paradigm in which, once criminals are released from jail, they have full civil rights restored. (But, sentences are to be crafted such that people won't be released until the society is comfortable that they will be no threat.)

In the punishment-never-ends paradigm, in which criminals are released early or never even jailed, even though they can't be trusted to buy guns or work with children, leads to a society in which all people must constantly undergo "background checks" to prove they aren't criminal. Being demanded to "show one's papers," isn't exactly the measure of a free society, although a police state admittedly only properly applies when the government requires the showing of papers.

To answer your questions, no I don't support pedophiles gaining jobs at BSA. But, I don't like having to prove my innocence because others are criminal, which the BSA would now require of me should I wish to work for them. As more and more private companies and organizations require this, the need for a national identity card, "to streamline the background check process," or some other comparable government service to monitor and track citizens, will increase. It is this inevitable process which I object to, and which I see the Boy Scouts accelerating.

25 posted on 11/27/2002 4:05:48 PM PST by coloradan
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To: PeoplesRepublicOfWashington
Same thing with coaches on T-ball teams. That goes back to at least 1990.
26 posted on 11/27/2002 4:07:11 PM PST by Bernard
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To: kattracks
A damned unfortunate sign of these times in which we live, I'm afraid...


27 posted on 11/27/2002 4:11:26 PM PST by Joe Brower
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To: Grampa Dave; coloradan; Dimensio
The idea of a private organization taking these measures is not a "police state".

The government monitoring innocent people, registering firearms, recording your keystrokes, checking your financial transactions is a different matter.

Private organizations are private and can put up cameras, investigate those who choose to become involved with them and look up your ass all they want. Unlike a government mandated inititiative, you have the choice to walk away and not participate.

They are private, and you can not associate with them. This is what you call FREEDOM. Y'all need to learn the difference between a governmental and non-governmental organization.

28 posted on 11/27/2002 4:16:26 PM PST by AAABEST
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To: AAABEST
The idea of a private organization taking these measures is not a "police state".

Please see my response in post 25.

29 posted on 11/27/2002 4:25:04 PM PST by coloradan
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To: coloradan
How do the actions of a private organization to screen their membership have any effect on your rights as a private citizen? hint: get a grip, they don't!!
30 posted on 11/27/2002 4:28:24 PM PST by mac_truck
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To: mac_truck
How do the actions of a private organization to screen their membership have any effect on your rights as a private citizen?

In the same way that a single straw breaks a camel's back. When enough private companies and organizations decide to go with background checks, (1) I will have to be proving my innocence all over the place, grocery stores, libraries, etc., and (2) there are sure to be new government agencies, paid for by my money, to support all the requests for background check information. They may even issue non-criminals new "papers" to establish non-criminality.

I would prefer that criminals be locked up and I left free to go about my business.

31 posted on 11/27/2002 4:39:37 PM PST by coloradan
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To: kattracks
Note to self bump. Give Major Donation </font size> to Boy Scouts each year. And thank God for a good group where God beleving boys can learn and practice good values.
32 posted on 11/27/2002 7:19:54 PM PST by 69ConvertibleFirebird
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To: coloradan
"It's true a police state requires a government mandate which BSA clearly lacks. However, I suppport the "punishment eventually ends" paradigm in which, once criminals are released from jail, they have full civil rights restored."

problem is, many of the people going to jail, come out before they complete the term they were sentenced. further more, a severe emo problem has to exist in a person that would even come close to raping a child, or for that matter, male children... or males who want males in general (yes, it was in psycologists' handbooks until the 70's... hippies got pissy) most psychologists still disagree with this decision. but regardless, it is highly unlikely that someone who has been convicted of sexual misconduct will ever revert, by the time they are convicted, they are hardened, and it is improbable that they will ever have enough therapy to completely be compatible in such a setting as being surrounded by young boys in the wilderness.

yes, punishment will end, but when will the one who commited the crime actually change? you have no guarantees in such a matter. also, it is a small portion of the possible life the convicted could take part in. women can't join in men's clubs. and you know how many sane people care? and people dont even have a choice on what sex they are. they have a choice to molest kids, which in turn, gets your privilage to partake in BSA stripped.

as for cards for identification and streamlining... it doesnt really matter. it just means that instead of taking days to not give a felon a gun, it takes minutes. it matters not, either way, they get the info.
33 posted on 11/27/2002 7:59:44 PM PST by MacDorcha
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To: kattracks
Very interesting. Up to this point it had been up to the sponsoring organization to conduct or contract for a background check on the leaders of their Scout units. Some did, some didn't. My previous sponsor did, but our current sponsor doesn't.

The problem with this is that up to this point, the BSA, by not doing these checks and making it a standard that the sponsors were to do so, weren't responsible for flaws in Scouters' backgrounds. Now that they are doing the checks, they will share in the responsibility for any mistakes.

Unlike what a previous poster opined, I doubt that this will keep any gays out of the organization. I can only think that the organization they are contracting with will check legal records.

34 posted on 11/29/2002 5:22:46 PM PST by RonF
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To: kattracks
Here's a page off of ChoicePoint's web site explaining how they do a national criminal search. I imagine that this is the service they're providing the BSA.

The company's web site likes to brag about what good corporate citizens they are. People get nervous about companies that make money out of investigating and selling information about people's private lives. I wonder what kind of deal the BSA is getting here?

35 posted on 11/29/2002 7:27:09 PM PST by RonF
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To: kattracks
I've been a Scouter for 10 years now. While I think that this could be a great thing, I don't like how they're implementing it. What many people don't understand is that this represents a big change in the leader selection paradigm.

Up to now, unit sponsors have been responsible for a Scouter's background. But now, National is taking away their discretion. Instead of the pastor of a church making the decision, or the president of the VFW, some nameless person in the Region office will make the decision, and no one in the Council or in the sponsor will know what's going on. What if the guy had a misdemeanor bust 20 years ago for smoking a joint? A Baptist minister might not like that. An Episcopalian priest might not care. Or vice versa! However, whichever way the Regional person makes the call, he's going to go against the wishes of the sponsor.

What should happen here, in MNSHO, is that the background check should go to the Institutional Head of the sponsor. He or she should then make the decision. Absent something overwhelming (e.g., conviction for child abuse), the control over what's a character flaw and what isn't belongs locally, as it has thoughout the first 90 years of the BSA's history.

We also need an explicit statement on what criteria will make a volunteer acceptable or unacceptable.
36 posted on 11/30/2002 2:51:09 PM PST by RonF
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