Hawaii chapter of Boy Scouts assures parents of security

Hawaii chapter of Boy Scouts assures parents of security

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Boy Scouts of America proclaims it has a strict child protection policy.

Anyone who wants to be a scoutmaster or a volunteer must submit to a background check. The stringent vetting process began for employees in 1994 and volunteers in 2003.

"It's a nationwide background check. You'll have to sign a document saying you'll do that," said Rick Burr, CEO of the Aloha Council Boy of Scouts of America.

Criminal databases and sex offender registries are checked then rechecked every two years for active scout leaders and volunteers.

"Any kind of sexual crime, even a misdemeanor, would preclude them from being members," Burr said.

Thursday's release of files on more than 1,200 scout leaders nationwide whose behavior raised red flags in the 1960s, 70s and 80s included six men who worked with Scouts in Hawaii.

William L. Green was convicted of sodomy in 1963, then expelled when the Scouts learned of it. Gary L. Strain led a troop in the 80s, until a charge for child sex abuse came out. Edward P. Dunham, Michael W. Kamp, Jerome W. Kubic and Dale Edmund Wilson were considered dangerous for kids. Scouting dismissed them but kept their files.

"These files were maintained to ensure that if they ever applied again in the future, they would not be allowed to have contact with our kids," said John Fielding, Hawaii Assistant Council Commissioner for Catholic Scouting.

Scouting is under scrutiny for formerly letting suspected pedophiles into its ranks. Burr said present day procedures ensure levels of security for scouts.

"Maybe those mistakes laid the groundwork for the positive things that we do now to protect our kids," he said.

Scouting now has a policy that forbids scout leaders from one-on-one meetings with kids. And scouts and their families are trained in the three R's of protection from sex abuse.

"Recognize, resist and report," Burr said.

Boy Scouts policy mandates notifying law enforcement when abuse is reported.

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