Local Connection: Boy Scout Revelations - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Local Connection: Boy Scout Revelations

By: Rick Blangiardi

Boy Scout files released last week as part of a lawsuit against the scouts in 2010 reveal the names of more than 1,000 men who had been suspected against sexual crimes against kids. There were many disturbing findings in the reports that detailed sexual abuse against 1,247 scout leaders between 1965 and 1985. In many cases across the country, sexual abuse was discovered but unfortunately not passed along to law enforcement officials at that time. Wayne Perry, the president of the Boy Scouts of America, apologized for the organization's past shortcomings. He said: "To the extent we fell short of protecting youth, we fell short. We are profoundly sorry."

Locally, six men who worked with scout troops in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s were banned by the scouts in Hawaii. In those cases, the men were forced to leave scouting after being charged with sexual abuse or found to have improper relationships with children. However, with today's practices and technology, we know criminal background checks would prevent them from getting into scouting in the first place.

As someone long associated with scouting, i know the strength of the organization and the character it builds in young men. Times have changed and the scouts have done much to train its leaders, parents, and youth, on youth protection. In addition, all volunteer leaders have to submit to a criminal background check during the membership application process. It is most unfortunate that the leaders of the past could not have done more to help young people. However, today's leaders are doing everything possible to protect our youth.

Copyright 2012 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

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