The Boy Scouts of America has issued a statement saying it is willing to make accommodations to give all Scouts the ability to reach whichever rank they desire.
The statement comes days after a 15-year-old Payson boy said officials revoked all the badges he had earned since graduating Cub Scouts while on his way to realizing his dream of being an Eagle Scout.
Chad Blythe says the Scouts did so because his son Logan has Down syndrome. Logan’s local Scout leaders modified some of the requirements for the merit badges to make them more achievable.
He submitted his Eagle Scout project to the Utah National Parks Council, the chartered Boy Scouts of America partner in the state, on Nov. 9. The next day, he received an email saying the national organization had suspended his Eagle Scout project and revoked his badges since Logan hadn’t completed the requirements as written in the rules.
The Blythes sued the Scouts for a minimum of $1, for Logan’s badges to be reinstated and for his intellectual disability to be accommodated.
Despite the statement, the family still feels like it has been spurned.
“Do you want your child learning from an institution which makes misleading public statements to protect themselves, instead of reaching out to Logan and correcting their mistakes?” attorney Ted McBride said in an email to The Salt Lake Tribune.
While the national Scouts group’s statement does not directly address the email suspending Logan’s project, it says Logan is and always was eligible to become an Eagle Scout.
“We want to be clear — the option to earn the rank of Eagle Scout has been — and still is — available to Logan,” the statement says.
While becoming an Eagle Scout is an arduous process for anyone, the statement says, the system is designed to allow for modification for Scouts’ specific needs.
But McBride said the Scouts’ policies do not match the statement released Tuesday.
“If they are now going to change their policies, that's terrific,” McBride said. “But no one has contacted me about this. It appears that they are more interested in spinning some positive press. If they were sincere, I would have expected them to call me and change their policy.
“Logan deserves an apology. Not a generic statement to the public which doesn’t state that they have no alternatives for him.”
The Salt Lake Tribune did not immediately receive a response from a national spokesperson and was unable to reach someone with the Utah organization.