Boys Scouts file for bankruptcy

Boy+Scouts+recite+the+Scout%27s+Law.+Recently%2C+the+Boy+Scouts+of+America+%28BSA%29%2C+through+their+use+of+the+BSA%E2%80%99s+Volunteer+Screening+Database%2C+has+determined+that+there+have+been+more+than+12%2C000+alleged+sexual+abuse+claims+from+1944+through+2016.+

Photo courtesy of: Bobby Cummings/ Beale Air Force Base

Boy Scouts recite the Scout's Law. Recently, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), through their use of the BSA’s Volunteer Screening Database, has determined that there have been more than 12,000 alleged sexual abuse claims from 1944 through 2016.

On  Feb. 11, amid hundreds of sexual abuse claims, the Boys Scouts of America (BSA) have filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in a Delaware bankruptcy court. 

There are currently around 300 cases that have been brought against them.

According to a testimony published by attorney Jeff Anderson, the Boy Scouts have determined that there are more than 12,000 alleged victims from 1944 through 2016. These claims come from the BSA’s Volunteer Screening Database, which “is in place to prevent individuals who were removed from Scouting from re-registering,” according to the BSA’s website. 

According to CNN, the organization has listed assets exceeding $1 million and liabilities of between $100 billion to $500 billion. 

In response to the claims, the BSA’s National Chair, Jim Turley, has released a letter apologizing to the victims and encouraging them to come forward and file claims. 

“On behalf of myself and the entire Scouting community: I am sorry. I am devastated that there were times in the past when we failed the very children we were supposed to protect…I encourage you, and all victims to come forward and file claims… I want you to know that we believe you [and] we believe in compensating you,” the letter said.

It’s unfortunate. I think they’re so far they’re handling it right. It is just the national Boy Scouts that are filing bankruptcy local councils aren’t handling that, but you know it’s sad to see them have to file bankruptcy at all”

— Former Boy Scout, Jareth Czulewicz, ‘21

Former Boy Scout, Jareth Czulewicz, ‘21, in response to the news of the bankruptcy filing said, “It’s unfortunate. I think they’re so far they’re handling it right. It is just the national Boy Scouts that are filing bankruptcy local councils aren’t handling that, but you know it’s sad to see them have to file bankruptcy at all.”

In the BSA letter, Turley also said, “Please know we have worked consistently over many years to implement multilayered policies to keep kids safe… I regret that these measures weren’t always in place or weren’t always enough. The fact is that predators harmed innocent children in Scouting programs, and for this I am deeply sorry.” 

Over the years the BSA has implemented many policies to keep young scouts safe. The earliest protection policy they implemented was in 1911, in which they implemented character reference checks for Scoutmasters. 

Today, however, the BSA has come far from just character reference checks and has many policies to protect the Scouts. Some of these include prohibiting adult leaders from having one-on-one interactions with Scouts, implementing the two-deep policy, which requires two adults to be with youth at all times, requiring that everyone in the BSA reports any suspected or known abuse to law enforcement and implementing the Volunteer Screening Database. 

It appears that these policies have been effective for some. “During my time in the Boy Scouts I never felt in danger at any point from anyone for any reason” Czulewicz said.

According to the BSA they even have a full time Youth Protection director to continuously work on bettering the BSA’s protection policy. 

“Today, we believe the BSA’s youth safety measures are the strongest and most effective policies found in any youth-serving organization,” Turley said.