The revelation earlier this week that Boy Scouts abuse files existed to track potential child predators broaching the organization without law enforcement knowledge or input struck a blow to the long-trusted scouting group, and the head of the Boy Scouts is working on damage control to reassure frightened parents that the abuse files aren’t as bad as they look.
The Boy Scouts abuse files scandal of course harkens back to the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal from a decade ago as well as the Penn State scandal that still dominates the headlines from time to time, and it seems to highlight an ongoing issue of people in charge protecting predators from the consequences of their actions versus taking every measure available to ensure children are not harmed when predators are discovered to be lurking in organizations with unbridled access to small kids.
As the Boy Scouts abuse files scandal deepens, the open letter released penned by Chief Scout Executive Wayne Brock of Boy Scouts of America seeks to convey to parents that the group took measures to ensure the safety of kids while also admitting that the course of action may not have always been the correct one. (The files go back to 1919.)
In the letter, Brock says in part:
“While we continuously evaluate and strengthen our Youth Protection programs, we recognize that abuse can happen anywhere, even in Scouting. You may have heard recent news surrounding the release of certain Ineligible Volunteer Files.”
“BSA Ineligible Volunteer Files, still in use today, help keep people deemed to be unfit leaders out of Scouting. Still, we believe constant vigilance is the best protection. In Scouting, we tell everyone involved with our programs that ‘Youth protection begins with you.’™ That means that each of us has a role to play in keeping kids safe.”
You can read the full response from BSA on the Boy Scouts abuse files controversy over on their website.