Policy Guide & Bylaws. VI Troop Discipline.

VI. Troop Discipline

Standards and Expectations

Activities of the Boy Scouts are governed by the Scout Oath or Promise (Appendix D) and the Scout Law (Appendix E). Together, they are the foundation of individual conduct and group discipline. Through the Oath, Law, and positive example, Scouting tries to instill self-discipline and encourage responsibility. All adults as well as adult and youth leadership will look for every opportunity to assign meaning to the Scout Oath and each of the points of the Scout Law.  By reciting the Scout Oath and the Scout Law each scout is committing “on their honor” to live their lives accordingly.

To be awarded the rank of Scout, a boy must show that he understands what the Oath and Law mean for his daily life and agree to abide by them. To be awarded subsequent ranks the scout must demonstrate that he continues to live by the Scout Oath and Law. The Scout’s continued willingness to abide by them is implicit in his continued participation and advancement in Scouting.

In addition to the Oath and Law, the Boy Scouts of America and this Troop have several policies that are intended to ensure that Scouts and their leaders behave safely and responsibly. These policies include refraining from using electronic devices including cell phones during scout activities, no caffeinated or energy drinks, the requirement that a boy must earn a "Totin' Chip" card before being allowed to handle cutting tools (knives, axes, saws, etc.), and the compliance with all rules in the current BSA Guide to Safe Scouting.

Listed below are some examples of breeches of the Scout Law or inappropriate behavior that will prompt corrective action:

1.Failure to be Trustworthy

 a. Lying

b. Cheating

c. Theft 

 2.Failure to be Loyal

a. Failure to wear the scout uniform as requested by the Troop leadership

3.Failure to be Friendly

 a. Hazing or taunting

 b. Threatening or intimidating another person by word or action. 

4.Failure to be Courteous 

a. Behavior that displays disrespect for other persons, personal property or the environment

b.Not following reasonable directives of a leader. A leader is defined as a patrol leader, assistant patrol leader, Senior Patrol Leader, or any adult including a Scoutmaster or Assistant Scoutmaster.

5.Failure to be Kind 

a.Actions or language offensive or discriminatory with respect to sex, race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation or physical/mental disability. 

b. Unnecessary or inappropriate physical roughness.

6.Failure to be Obedient 

a. Failure to comply with Troop policies banning electronics and caffeinated drinks at scout activities.

b. Failure to report to an assignment at Troop meetings

c. Possession or use of fireworks

 d. Unauthorized use or possession of firearms or other weapons. Fixed knifes or folding knifes with blades over 3 ½ inches are prohibited.

 e. Use or possession of alcoholic beverages or controlled substances (except medication of which the adult leadership is aware). 

7.Failure to be Clean 

a. Foul language that offends or degrades common decency, as well as negative and derogatory banter or gestures. 

b.Smoking and/or use of tobacco products. 

c. Possession of pornographic materials.

d.    Sexual assault and/or harassment.

This list is not exhaustive. Adults, adult leaders, and youth leaders must judge cases as they arise, and the scouts must respect their authority to make judgments. A Scout should obey any direct order from an appropriate junior or adult leader.

Most infractions are minor and should be dealt with immediately by the youth leadership, trained adult leaders, or an observing adult.  It is important to note that any adult (trained or untrained) that observes an inappropriate action is empowered and encouraged to take the appropriate steps to correct a situation. 

 Disciplinary Actions Proceed in Stages:

1.The Senior Patrol Leader, Assistant Senior Patrol Leader, Patrol Leader, or assistant Patrol Leader will take care of all infractions of the Scout Oath, Law or normal good order and discipline if possible. If the youth leadership is unavailable or unable to correct the problem, he should ask can ask for the Scoutmaster or an Assistant Scoutmaster.  If none is available, they can ask for assistance of any other adult. 

2.Every parent of Troop 1134 scouts is empowered and encouraged to assist youth and adult leadership of the Troop, however, issues of a more serious nature should be directed to a trained adult leader (either the Scoutmaster or Assistant Scoutmaster).  All adults need to make sure they are never alone with any scout because this is a violation of the BSA and Archdiocese of Atlanta Youth Protection policies.

3.An infraction will be discussed with the Scout immediately, pointing out how they violated the scout law and asking for a commitment to correct the action. If necessary, the scout will be separated from the activity, meeting, etc. It may be necessary in some cases for a parent to pick up the scout if they have to be contacted about the matter. 

4.If an infraction is repeated or if the situation is deemed to be serious, the Scoutmaster or the assistant scoutmaster should be involved, and a verbal warning can be issued to the Scout.  

5.After a verbal warning has been issued, the Scoutmaster or ASM will notify the Scout's parent or guardian.  An observing parent is also empowered to discuss any issues with a particular scout’s parents.

6.A repeated failure to heed the verbal warnings of the Scoutmaster or ASM may result in the Scout being suspended from regular meetings and/or special activities pending review of the Scout’s status by the Troop Committee.    The parent or guardian of a Scout will be notified in the event that the Scoutmaster recommends this committee review of the Scout’s status.

7.The Troop Committee will schedule a review of the Scout’s status and will notify the Scout and his parent or guardian of the date of the review. The Troop Committee may take any of the above actions and/or require the Scout to leave the Troop.

Breeches of the scout law should be discussed during Scoutmaster Conferences and rank advancement can be delayed if a scout has not shown progress in correcting an infraction. In some cases, a scout may be asked to relinquish a leadership role that they currently hold.  The Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmasters should consult with each other and reach consensus on discussing behavioral issues with scouts.  Significant infractions should be documented by the Scoutmaster or Assistant Scoutmaster and maintained as part of the Troop Advancement Records. In some cases, a scout and/or parent may be asked to submit a written commitment to correct and infraction, before being allowed to continue in the Troop.

The Scoutmaster and Troop Committee hope that these steps will not have to be invoked. The Troop, however, will not tolerate behavior that disrupts the Troop, sets a bad example to other scouts, creates unsafe conditions, is a hazard to members of the Troop, or otherwise threatens Troop activities.  The Troop Committee, Scoutmaster, and Assistant Scoutmasters will provide training and guidance on how to handle discipline, to the junior and senior youth leaders of the Troop.

Discipline for scouts with disabilities

Scouts with disabilities including learning disorders like ADD, ADHD, autism etc. will be expected to follow the guidelines for discipline.  It is the responsibility of the parent of a scout with a learning disability to make the Scoutmaster aware of the disability. Unit rules should be discussed with the parents and the scout. The Scout leader should work with the scout and his or her parents to establish a behavioral plan that will enable the scout to maintain appropriate behavior.  The Scout leader should explain consequences for the Scout’s failure to maintain appropriate behavior to the parents and the Scout.  Such consequences can include sitting out games, suspensions, from a unit meeting or campout etc.