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(Riverfront Times)   Cub Scouts tell mother of mentally challenged boy that son is no longer welcome, earning troop the much-coveted "Asshat" badge   ( divider line
    More: Asinine  
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22973 clicks; posted to Main » on 24 Oct 2004 at 1:14 AM (13 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2004-10-23 04:13:37 PM  
"I got very upset. I cannot believe that these guys are kicking me out because my kid's retarded,"

hehe.. it's not just the kid...

/PC surrenders
2004-10-23 04:18:54 PM  
I hate to say it but it might be for the best. It can't be good for the kid to be in a group of kids above his capabilities. They say it is good to be normal, but come on, we were all cruel kids, we know that he was probably being treated cruelly. Hell, I was mocked because I was overweight .. I can't imagine if I was retarded too.
2004-10-23 04:22:11 PM  
unfortunately, it's a private club and they're free to be asshats if they want to.

Gig, did you even RTFA?
2004-10-23 04:23:54 PM  
Gig, you can look at it from a different angle, too. Perhaps putting these "normal" kids in with a mentally challenged one will foster a sense of compassion with the "normal" kids and help them to understand that his problems aren't his fault and not a basis for discrimination and teasing. I know that's alot to ask for with a bunch of boys, but it isn't impossible.
If he wasn't violent, and he wasn't a horrible distraction to the pack, he should be allowed to participate. Just because he might take a bit longer to finish projects (which he can work on at home with his mom) is no reason to disallow him to join in with the rest of the group. Especially since his mom was volunteering alot of her own personal time to be the scout leader. That's alot of work on her part, and not just because of his needs.
This makes me feel a little better about pulling my kid out a few weeks ago.
2004-10-23 04:29:08 PM  
just to add to what GoldenApple is saying, i was a cub scout leader for a couple of years. i know for a fact that there are lots of kids who's parents see cub scouts as a babysitter. a way to forget about their kids for a few hours a week. lots of kids are forced to go against their wishes while the parents couldn't be less involved. this is especially sad if the kid in the article truly wanted to be there.
2004-10-23 04:59:41 PM  
We have a mom that is working her ass off and still found time to become the "Tiger Cub Leader" for her boy's den...then because someasshole parents decided they did not want their child to associate with the child in question the boy scouts pull this crap? Sucks not only for her but for the other kids that were in the troop....
school systems have been doing a pretty damn good job of main streaming kids for the last 10 years at least...things like this set a bad precedent...
2004-10-23 05:03:32 PM  
FWIW, someone's not telling the whole story here (and it looks like the reporter didn't really bother to do more than a "little boy with cute puppy" pity-piece).

It's possible that the leaders were bigots or something, but IMO it's also quite likely that the "my kid didn't do anything wrong" mom is leaving out a few details. People tend not to send letters and worry about their children's safety unless something is wrong...

But thanks to more crappy journalism, we don't really know what's going on at all.

Phil Ferguson, dean of the College of Education at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, begs to differ. "Come on! He's seven years old. On its face, it's outrageous, segregationist and discriminatory,"

What kind of crap is that? What does his age matter if the kid is a nightmare to handle? "On its face" is just just a short way of saying "I don't know anything about what's going on but will make some sweeping statements denouncing someone."
2004-10-23 05:13:47 PM  
What does his age matter if the kid is a nightmare to handle?

Unfortunetly, as you said, the entire story wasn't published. We have no idea what violent behavior is being discussed here. However, one member who is also a Cub leader had said that the child was only slower.

As a former Cub Scout member, Boy Scout member, and Senior Patrol Leader (the Boy Scout in charge) I can attest to the fact there are a lot of severely conservative parents, parents who are willing and able to make a big deal about anything that might be out of place. I once had a woman frothing at my face because her child tried to cheat his way through a rank, and she found out that I had a problem with loud angry biatches.

Never did get my Eagle badge.
2004-10-23 05:36:14 PM  
From the letter:

"In addition, after observing Christopher's behavior at both den and pack meetings throughout the 2003-2004 school year, and, for both his safety and the other children's safety, we insist that he not attend the meetings or other pack events," the letter continues.
It sounds like the kid might be a bit uncontrolled. It's not "fair", but then there are a lot of things that aren't fair for retarded kids.
Joe Mueller, spokesman for the Greater St. Louis Area Council, Boy Scouts of America. "In this case the scout presented some extreme challenges, behaviorally and socially, that required [leaders] to consider the safety of the rest of the scouts first."
It'd be nice if every educator, Scout Master, and bus driver knew how to deal with the special needs of every kind of different child, but that's not the case.
2004-10-23 06:38:06 PM  
Reality check: Is this a real news source? Not that I doubt this would happen, but I've seen better writing in a high school newspaper.
2004-10-23 07:21:34 PM  
Was the writer the same kid that got kicked out?
Way to hold a grudge.
2004-10-23 07:28:00 PM  
i would think record keeping would be written in the same way as the business world does.....vague statements about behaviour do not stand up in court...document...what did he do? the right way to have dealt with this would have been to write up detailed reports and talk to the parents...then decide what the next step would be....

"The program for Scouts with disabilities and special needs is directed at (1) helping unit leaders develop an awareness of disabled people among youth without disabilities, and (2) encouraging the inclusion of Scouts with disabilities and special needs in Cub Scout packs."
2004-10-23 07:29:30 PM  
That read like an article from The Onion.
2004-10-23 08:24:11 PM  
farfromhome, be careful. I think you're treading on the edge of bannination by posting that address.

Back to the topic.... I was in cub scouts and boy scouts from 3rd grade through 11th grade. My older brother and I are eagle scouts. My little brother is close. My father has been a leader in several Packs/Troops including one in a not-so-nice part of inner-city Chicago.

I totally support the right of the Boy Scouts to be as inclusive or exclusive as they desire. While they may make bad choices sometimes, it's still a private organization. Moreover, it's an organization with admirable goals and very positive results.

Unfortunately, sometimes the Boy Scouts can't manage to provide an optimal experience for every boy. I think that's probably the case here. This particular pack may have been ill-equipped to handle the needs of this kid while providing for the other kids as well. Moving the kid to another pack is a *very* reasonable solution.

One of the members of my Boy Scout Troop was a mentally retarded guy from a few towns over. He belonged to our troop because it was better equipped to handle his needs than other troops nearby. Primarily, we had a lot more really active adult leaders (including this boy's father) than most troops.

The Boy Scouts routinely make accomodations for boys with special needs. One specific accomodation I know of is that the Eagle-by-18-or-you're-out rule can be relaxed.

This article really gives the BSA a bum wrap. It's not like they're thrilled to be rid of the kid.

By the way, donating time or money to the BSA is a great way to give back to the community. I'm 23 and I've just started my first job out of college. Lately I've been considering calling up the local BSA office and asking if there's a troop nearby looking for an assistant scout-master.
2004-10-24 12:59:50 AM  
I feel for the kid, but as has been stated earlier, the whole story hasn't been told here. There has been no mention of what this boy did to get himself kicked out and so I'm skeptical until we know what the fark is going on here.

As for me, my pack had about 45-60 boys from all kinds of homes. I only remember one kid being told not to come back due to his behavior. We had a few kids who could have been called "slow", and there's a chance I could have been among that group seeing how I have Asperger's Syndrome and had some really nasty facial tics growing up, but my behavior was in check on all but a few occasions. Chances are that this kid said or did things that scared the hell out of people or was some kind of danger to the other kids, but due to the less than stellar journalism here, we have no way of knowing.
2004-10-24 01:18:52 AM  
Every other animal on the planet will destroy its young if it is retarded and incapable of self survival.

It is beyond me as to why we are the dominant species when we keep ours around.

/not trolling - totally serious
2004-10-24 01:22:45 AM  

When you have a kid with a disability, come back and post that again. I fully expect to see pictures of you killing your unwanted child.
2004-10-24 01:23:18 AM  
Yeah, I got to Life in a few arguments with some of the adult leadership. Basically the old adults would let the senior scouts run things, but the new ones pretty much wanted to baby everybody through everything. The people close to Eagle got tired of their shiat and quit, the troop was once one of the best in the area, now it's full of whiny babies.

We did have a gay kid in the troop...but he was hazed bad one year at summer camp and never came back.
2004-10-24 01:24:29 AM  
Come on people, this is total bullshiat.
Check out the rest of the site.
Notice that the section is called "News Real"....
2004-10-24 01:27:16 AM  
I'm not going to call shenanigans, but this article smells kinda funny. What kind of parent calls her kid "retarded"? Any parent of a disabled kid knows better than that. The term is offensive and derogatory.

And Brywalker, it's a shame your parents didn't destroy you.
2004-10-24 01:27:34 AM  
"ghettoizes" - my new favorite word!
2004-10-24 01:27:40 AM  
We had a class at my primary school that had autistic children, as well as some mild Down's etc. and it was one of the best things for me as far as tolerance goes. I have a cousin who has Down's, but hadn't been given the tools to react to and with her by my family the way I was by the school.

With regards to this article though, the Cubs are not a special education facility, and may not have the people required to fully integrate this child into the group, and the group with this child.

If my kids were going somewhere, and decided to stop because they were uncomfotable, I would support them in that. If many of the kids stopped going, I would question the cause, and ask for something to be done about it.
2004-10-24 01:28:32 AM  
brywalker: I just...


My sister had a little jaundice at birth. Glad you're not my dad.

/teacher aide in special ed
2004-10-24 01:28:36 AM  
I go to a movie theater that has a retarded guy taking tickets. He is only capable of tearing a couple tickets per minute. He sits there in his wheelchair drooling on himself while the line grows behind him. On many occasions I have torn my own ticket and walked past him. Are we helping the retarded by putting them in situations like this, or just trying to make ourselves feel better?

/also hates the retards working at Burger King
2004-10-24 01:29:13 AM  
I don't think that ghettoizing retarded children is necessarily a bad thing. If the kid is CMR (Controllably Mentally Retarded) then he might be able to be controlled if the parent is there, but otherwise misbehave. I remember the special ed kids in elementary school causing all kinds of problems when they were in our classes. While the parents of retarded children try and convince themselves and everyone else that their children are not "retarded [literally: slowed ], the reality is that most retarded kids are a distraction, if not a emcumberence on the other kids. Really. They have insinuated their mantra into the schools to such an extent that the No Child Left Behind Act includes severely retarded children in the mesaurements required of standardized tests. Retarded kids scores count just as much as normal children's do--thus ensuring lower scores, skewed downward because of their inclusion.

We got silent lunch every day in 5th grade because the special ed kids would come back from their classes and misbehave for that last hour before lunch. I'm not saying we lock them away, but if the scoutmaster deems a child a distraction to others--and even worse, a danger to others, then the Mom should deal with it. It's not like there's not 200 other packs in the area. The Boy and Cub Scouts are everywhere, and the district office of the Council can find here another unit easily. I call BS that they kid is this little innocent that was treated unfairly. It doesn't add up. That's my opinion.

2004-10-24 01:29:31 AM  
I'm all for equality when it's appropriate, but sometimes things just CAN'T be. For example, when I was in high school, we had a very retarded guy in our gym class. He would try and participate, but he never really understood any of the rules of the sports. When a volleyball was hit to him, for example, he would catch it and slam it to the ground. Ok, it's a hassle, but we can put up with it. Then we had an archery day and the teacher was helping one of the students when the handicapped guy yelled something to him. He turned around and the handicapped guy was 10 feet away from him with a bow and arrow pointed right at his chest. Needless to say, that was the last day we had that kid in gym with us...
2004-10-24 01:29:40 AM  
It sounds like the kid isn't biologically hers....she adopted two nephews and he's one of them.
2004-10-24 01:30:16 AM  
sad to say i was a cub scout now.
2004-10-24 01:31:25 AM  
jsimmons that's not true. My mother, sister and myself work or have worked in special ed. Retardation and being retarded are actual terms used every day. Blind, Deaf, Retarded.

What's stupid is dancing around it by saying 'differently abled' or some such shiat, which special ed teachers outright LAUGH at.

Retarded, of course, CAN be used in a derogatory way, but it IS the actual term
2004-10-24 01:32:25 AM  
I'm glad other people caught on to the shoddy journalism. The RFT is not the most reliable of sources and is usually pushing an agenda. Although in this case I don't know what that is exactly. It's just another piece of sensationalism.
2004-10-24 01:33:11 AM  

many women will abort a fetus if it is discovered to have a debilitating birth defect such as harlequin fetus or spina bifida. i'd probably do the same thing. but you got me thinking...humans do a lot of crazy stuff that no other species do...
2004-10-24 01:33:35 AM  
A moose once bit my sister.
2004-10-24 01:34:54 AM  
wuapinmon; a lot of people did, including me. It's on about 5 or 6 fark threads now.
2004-10-24 01:34:57 AM  
I too beleive the whole story isnt being told here; I would have at least liked to have seen the letter of dismissal. However I diagree strongly with Gig103's assertion that it may be in the childs best interest to segragate himself from potentially cruel children. I beleive the only way to overcome any kind of bigotry is to expose children and adults to those of differing cultures, religions, colors abilities etc. Without this kind of exposure, groups outside the vanilla neighborhoods most of us grow us in seem disconnected; they're problems seem "far-away" and we are more likely to discount their different needs or points of view. I know my pov changed dramatically when I moved to downtown Detroit... I came to realize I did have pre-conceptions about black people despite the fact that I felt beforehand that I was in no way a racist. By living amounst different people you stop differentiating yourself from them and start seeing what you share in common with those around you. It humanizes people you might otherwise think of as "the others".
2004-10-24 01:36:49 AM  
[image from too old to be available]
2004-10-24 01:37:05 AM  
[image from too old to be available]
2004-10-24 01:37:13 AM  
What else is to be expected by the Youth Brigades of Jeebus Rubbing Homo Hating Idiocy?
2004-10-24 01:37:16 AM  

i should probably add that the birth defect would have to be fatal or worse for me to do that.
2004-10-24 01:38:48 AM  
Unfortunatly, however inhuman, I do believe that children will defects should not be born. I have all the compassion in the world for Retarded, or otherwise challenged people (my cousin was retarded, before he died of heart complications). It is too sad a thing, and does not benefit anyone. The whole concept of every child that gets stuck in a womb needs to be born mentality needs to go. As evil as it sounds, Breeding defected human beings is not a good idea. I used to work at a toystore, and most defected parents had defected children, and it was sad.

I really dont know on what to say about this issue. I dont want a genocide, but a culling for the future I guess.
2004-10-24 01:38:56 AM  
This article's ridiculous and the last line really makes me wonder if it's even real, but I can't be bothered to click on the link again.

The way the information is presented, it does look like the Scouts are in the wrong (morally, not legally), but I would like to hear their reasons for kicking him out. Nothing is mentioned other than him being a behavior problem, but that's then that's almost countered by another mother talking about never observing the kid causing trouble.

In the end, we have another dumbass Comm. major to blame.
2004-10-24 01:39:04 AM  
this thread is depressing. even for fark, a little compassion would be nice. but it IS a saturday night...

[image from too old to be available]
2004-10-24 01:39:34 AM  
I call shenanigans on the asshat the brought in religion to the discussion. WTF? What does that have to do with this? The article was obviously written on a slant. I saw no opposing quotes from the leadership.

I am an Eagle Scout. I support ANY private club that wants to limit membership. Hey, the kid ain't getting into MENSA either, no letters are written about that. Although I may disagree with booting somebody for 'x' reason, I support their ability to do so.

The article is HIGHLY suspect, tho.
2004-10-24 01:39:53 AM  
It is a parody site, look at the front page...


But, it seems like this is a true story though.
2004-10-24 01:40:12 AM  
I wish some of you people could meet a little kid with down syndrome and then tell me they should be killed. Yes, they need help, and special attention. They're also about three times as affectionate as your average "perfect" human being and they love life, even though some people see them as a scourge.

/tired and crabby about this
2004-10-24 01:40:23 AM  

I have a family member who is mentally disabled. I wouldn't like to see her reaction if you came over and called her a retard, nor would I like to be you shortly afterwards. Yes, "mental retardation" is the condition, but you don't call someone a retard. It's an offensive slur, plain and simple, just like any of the racial slurs that I won't write here. A teacher of all people should know that.
2004-10-24 01:41:44 AM  
This woman works 16 hours a day as a cleaning lady, but decides to adopt two young retarded boys anyway? She's either superhuman or incredibly stupid.


I see your point - from a utilitarian perspective it's hard to justify spending the resources on people that are really unable to contribute much to our society when there are others that are mentally sound but don't have access to the resources that they need.
2004-10-24 01:42:44 AM  
maybe you didn't notice, but I never said RETARD, I said retarded.

Saying your child is retarded isn't the same as saying 'my kid is a retard'.

two letters make a big difference. don't twist my words. You said this:

"What kind of parent calls her kid "retarded"?"

NOT retard.
2004-10-24 01:44:20 AM  
Okay.....I've had time to think about this one. I work with people with special needs...."retarded" people, as so many of you put it. It takes a very patient person to work with these people. Obviously, these people are not equipped to handle a child with special needs. Although I agree that BSA is a private orginization, (as proved in the case of the gay scout leader fiasco of not too long ago)I disagree with this decision. If you're going to PROMOTE inclusion of people with special needs and then EXCLUDE people with special needs, you're hypocrite asshats that don't deserve the public donations you send your children out to collect.
/I will NEVER have my children be a part of Nazi-type brainwashing organizations disguised as an activities group for boys
2004-10-24 01:45:20 AM  
This story simply doesn't have enough detail to let us know if this was justified. If the kid was behaving dangerously, then it makes sense that he shouldn't be there endangering others. If he wasn't behaving too badly, then maybe he could have been referred or dealt with. We don't know how he behaved, so calling this asinine is a bit premature I think.
2004-10-24 01:46:39 AM  
I think JS Mill pretty effectively showed that utilitarianism is old and busted.

/asthma acting up. feeling grumpy.
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