Boy Scouts Demote Boy With Down Syndrome Who Wants To Be An Eagle Scout
The 15-year-old Logan Blythe from Utah has autism and Down syndrome but feels right at home with his friends from the Boy Scouts of America. The young man joined the organization as a Cub Scout when he was eight years old and became an official member of the Boy Scouts program just three years later.
Logan was very much looking forward to promoting to the Eagle Scout rank, which requires you to do a so-called Eagle Project. Eagle Projects are also known as community service projects and Logan’s family already had a perfect idea.
“LOGAN’S MOM AND MYSELF CAME UP WITH A SERVICE PROJECT LOGAN COULD DO — NEWBORN KITS FOR THE LOCAL HOSPITAL AND DISTRIBUTING THEM — SO LOGAN AND I SUBMITTED THIS TO THE LOCAL BOY SCOUT LEADERS FOR THEIR APPROVAL,” LOGAN’S FATHER CHAD SAID TO THE MIGHTY.
However, one day after the local Boy Scouts of America department approved of Logan’s Eagle Project, his father received a very disturbing email.
The email was sent by the District Advancement Committee of the Boy Scouts, and Logan’s family was shocked when they first read it.
A representative said that Logan had to cease his Eagle Project and that his rank and previously earned merit badges would be stripped.
I HAVE BEEN ASKED TO SUSPEND LOGAN’S EAGLE PROJECT APPROVAL. PLEASE DO NOT DO ANY MORE WORK ON HIS PROJECT,” THE MAIL READ.
“WHEN NATIONAL WAS CONTACTED ABOUT POSSIBLE ALTERNATES, WE WERE TOLD THAT FOR STAR. LIFE AND EAGLE RANKS, THERE ARE NO ALTERNATES. THE YOUNG MAN MUST DO THE REQUIREMENTS AS WRITTEN, INCLUDING LEADERSHIP RESPONSIBILITIES. HE ALSO MUST BE ABLE TO PLAN, DEVELOP AND CARRY OUT HIS EAGLE PROJECT.
YOU CAN SUBMIT ALTERNATE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE SCOUT, TENDERFOOT, SECOND AND FIRST CLASS RANKS, AS WELL AS SOME OF THE REQUIRED MERIT BADGES, BUT MOST BADGES AND RANKS MUST BE “AS WRITTEN.”
THE GUIDE TO ADVANCEMENT SAYS THE YOUNG MAN MUST DO THE REQUIREMENTS AS WRITTEN, UNLESS THERE HAS BEEN AN APPROVED ALTERNATE, AS WE STARTED TO DISCUSS LAST NIGHT AT THE APPROVAL MEETING.
EVEN WITH THE SUGGESTIONS WE MADE LAST NIGHT, FOR LOGAN TO HOLD UP PAPERS AND TO PASS OUT FLIERS HIMSELF, ETC., I NEVER SHOULD HAVE ALLOWED THIS TO BE APPROVED FOR THE ABOVE REASONS.
I SINCERELY APOLOGIZE AND REGRET ANY FALSE HOPE WE HAVE GIVEN. I HOPE THAT YOU WILL CONSIDER KEEPING LOGAN REGISTERED BEYOND HIS 18TH BIRTHDAY, IN HOPES THAT SOMEDAY PERHAPS HE CAN COMMUNICATE WITH OTHERS THROUGH FUTURE TECHNOLOGY OR WHAT HAVE YOU.
DISTRICT ADVANCEMENT COMMITTEE”
As you might expect, Logan’s father was absolutely furious.
Not only did they deny Logan the opportunity to become an Eagle Scout, but they took away all of his badges and his rank he had gathered over the past few years.
Because of Logan’s disabilities, he was unable to earn the merit badges in a traditional manner. Luckily, the local Boy Scouts of America organization in Utah allows for alternative merit badges, but it appears they weren’t willing to recognize the 22 alternative merit badges that Logan has already amassed.
THE LOCAL LEADERS MADE MODIFICATIONS TO THE REQUIREMENTS SO HE COULD EARN THEM,” LOGAN’S DAD SAID ABOUT THE BADGES.
This came as a complete shock, especially because the local department had already approved of Logan’s Eagle Project idea the day before.
In addition, Logan’s Boy Scout rank was reduced to Cub Scout, which is usually given to children up to 10 years old. Logan is 15.
According to Logan’s father, he also received a text message from a local representative saying that they never should’ve said Logan was approved.
“WE WERE LED TO BELIEVE EVERYTHING WAS FINE AND LOGAN COULD GET THROUGH, HE COULD EARN MERIT BADGES, ADVANCE IN RANK FOR AS LONG AS HE DID WHAT HE NEEDED TO DO,” CHAD MENTIONED. “THIS IS THE VERY DEFINITION OF DISCRIMINATION.”
Logan had already prepared 25 kits for newborns and was planning to distribute them himself.
Understandably, Logan didn’t take the shocking news very well.
“HE WAS SADDENED BY IT. SINCE THIS HAS OCCURRED, WE NOW STRUGGLE TO GET HIM TO WEAR HIS UNIFORM. THAT WAS NOT THE CASE BEFORE. HE WAS LET DOWN. HURT.”
Logan’s father filed a lawsuit, asked for a reimbursement of $1,000,000 and requested that Logan would be reinstated with his original badges and rank.
Shortly after, the Boy Scouts did release a statement regarding this case.
They mention that they would work with Logan so he can fulfill his dream of becoming an Eagle Scout, and it contradicts their previous mail stating that Logan’s badges weren’t revoked.
However, the family’s lawyer thinks that Logan deserves an apology instead of a public statement, and also questions if Logan would be able to reach the rank of Eagle Scout due to his disability. He simply says that the statement is “misleading”.
“LOGAN SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO DO WHAT HE CAN TO THE BEST OF HIS ABILITY TO QUALIFY FOR A GIVEN MERIT BADGE DUE TO HIS MENTAL DISABILITIES, CHAD SAID TO USA TODAY.
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