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March 16, 2005

Outsmarting the bullies

Tuesday I reported about the ACLU's bullying the Boy Scouts out of government schools. It seems that even I missed the move the Boy Scouts really made.

Just last month, the American Civil Liberties Union sent a letter to the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), threatening to sue public schools that charter Boy Scout groups. The ACLU contends that schools' sponsorship amounts to religious discrimination and violates the separation of church and state. Baptist Press says according to information on the ACLU website, the group also views various Scout emphases -- such as allegiance to God and country, a resolve to help others, a commitment to remain morally straight, and character development -- worthy of legal action. 

In response to this latest legal warning, Boy Scout national spokesman Gregg Shields explains the BSA defused the threat simply by transferring the charters to parent-teacher organizations or churches.

"Boy Scout troops will still have the same rights to meet in school buildings as any other community-based group, but the charter will not be held by the school administration," he explains. "So we'll still be in the school; we'll still use the school building, if we did before -- simply the school administrator will not have to endure litigation from the ACLU."

Shields says the ACLU knows the Boy Scouts are prepared to defend themselves against endless litigation, and therefore decided to change its strategy and threaten third-party organizations like public school systems. Without this adjustment from the Scouts, he says, the situation could potentially be very expensive for schools.

They're still in the schools, just not “officially” as a chartered group under the school's authority. thumbs up for the Boy Scouts for out-smarting the ACLU. Defeating the bullies with brains, good example.

Posted by Danny Carlton at March 16, 2005 10:42 AM

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No, this wasn't the BSA "outsmarting" the ACLU; the ACLU sent a letter telling the BSA to terminate all these charters, and the BSA complied.

Posted by: Brian Westley at March 19, 2005 01:50 AM

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