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Thread: Coroner's report on the death of a scout in Wales

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Williams View Post
    This is one of the issues with suspending - it does tend to cause Sections to collapse, possibly, as you say, when they are perhaps at their most important as a support network for the survivors. I hope the District Team did step in to keep it afloat.
    It' worth saying that in my experience of suspensions - maybe 10 in total, one was a clear malicious accusation withdrawn within 24 hours with an apology. The great majority were, imo, absolutely right and TSA had no option to suspend on receiving a credible complaint. However on investigation not many were black and white. In practice a couple were reinstated and came back to the movement, the rest were either removed or resigned (either before the inevitable, or in disgust at the process).

    We had a situation where a leader was (rightly) suspended but TSA's rules on confidentiality meant we couldn't say a word about it, so the whole of the rest of the group leadership barring the GSL walked out in support. I'm delighted to say the district and the parents stepped up and although about 25% of the group left we recovered and a couple of leaders drifted back and within a year they were back with new leaders and numbers rising.

    Postscript - the leader concerned was convicted just before Christmas of grooming a 13 year old boy (albeit 5 years after his suspension). Sometimes we get it right - though the process itself is a failure.
    Last edited by RisingStar; 13-02-2020 at 09:23 AM.

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by RisingStar View Post
    Postscript - the leader concerned was convicted just before Christmas of grooming a 13 year old boy (albeit 5 years after his suspension). Sometimes we get it right - though the process itself is a failure.
    I agree - the process is terrible and needs addressing, particularly for minor things or easily provably false accusations. Clearly in this case we got it right, though sadly not before he got in in the first place (not always possible, though).

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Williams View Post
    I agree - the process is terrible and needs addressing, particularly for minor things or easily provably false accusations. Clearly in this case we got it right, though sadly not before he got in in the first place (not always possible, though).
    Sadly though if these things get reported on TV, radio, papers no matter how long since they generally state Scout Leader or former Scout Leader rarely the day job unless it is a teacher or vicar etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Williams View Post
    Even with a massive pile of paperwork and the most carefully planned programme and activities, indeed it could. Funnily enough, the risk of a false accusation (even following the Yellow Card) tends to be more of a concern in my mind, but yes, it doesn't take much to turn an accident into something much more serious.
    Following the story of these leaders, i must admit my mind has on more than one occasion had thoughts along the lines of "There but for the grace of...."

    Clearly we cannot judge the circumstances as we only know what has been reported. Would a risk assessment have prevented the death? Would a DC being in place have prevented the death? Were there any POR rules that were broken that, if they'd been followed, would have resulted in a different outcome for the young person. Or would the same outcome have happened for the young person, but the leaders backsides would have been better covered?

    when I was a leader, we allowed our YP a good degree of freedom (scout age). Expedition challenge hikes, night hikes, walking around seaside towns on summer camp, free time at camp, camping on passports. How easy would it have been for a child to ignore our rule that they werent allowed to go into the sea on Paignton beach? How easy would it have been for the scouts on their hike on the coast path to stray from the path? How easy would it have been for someone to put a can of deodorant on the patrol's cooking fire?

    My own Scouting career ended due to politics rather than because of an incident - and as far as I'm aware theres no reason why I couldnt go back, albeit a different district, if I so wished. But for those leaders to have gone through that, to lie awake at night wondering if they could have done things differently, if they could have prevented the accident from happening... that's not something i'd wish on anyone. In my day job I carry a similar level of potential responsibility - but at least i'm paid for the privelage.

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