Letter: Boy Scouts of America properly handled abuse incidents
Shame on Bryan Horwath for his article maligning the Boy Scouts of America, and on The Dickinson Press for printing it.
You owe an apology to Mark Holtz, the Boy Scouts of America, Troop 32 and every Scout leader in our community for publishing this article before getting the facts. But obviously you graduates of the National Enquirer School of Journalism think the article was a fine example of ethical journalism. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Speaking of truth, is there any in the article? I found only one thing: the statement that there were two incidents involving Troop 32. However, only one involved sexual misconduct. I know. I was, and remain, a volunteer with the troop, and was present on both outings when the incidents occurred. Both were reported to law enforcement. I was approached by the first victim, and he was at the police station for his statement within 15 minutes, an arrest was made within an hour of the report, the accused was tried, found guilty and sentenced appropriately.
The second case, involving verbal abuse, was also reported to law enforcement, and again an arrest was made. Authorities investigated but did not pursue charges. The accused was, however, no longer allowed to volunteer with the Scouts.
Apparently, Horwath is more interested in making a name for himself rather than getting to the truth, and believes that the way to do so is by tearing down the most youth-friendly and youth protective organization in our nation’s history.
The BSA requires volunteers to take youth protection training regularly, and is a national leader in development of youth protection training.
If Horwath had made any serious effort to find facts, he could easily have done so by contacting our district executive and asking about those programs.
Instead, he apparently preferred a confrontational approach, having decided in advance what he deemed the truth to be. Too bad he didn’t educate himself before writing this trash. This article should have been relegated to the opinion page if it was published at all.
Troop 32 has been in existence for more than 55 years and has helped countless local boys become responsible adults and citizens.
Too bad Horwath didn’t avail himself of the opportunity to participate in the Boy Scout program when he was a boy. Perhaps his character would have developed more positively.
Leo J. Ehrmantraut, Troop 32 assistant scoutmaster, Dickinson