USA

Former Boy Scout youth protection official says group is still ‘not safe for kids’

A former Boy Scouts of America official that was tasked with shielding youngsters from intercourse abuse says the group continues to be harmful to youngsters, and never dedicated to reform.

Michael Johnson urged Congress to look into the BSA’s efforts to cover-up abuse throughout a tearful speech on the Nationwide Press Membership Tuesday.

In a letter to lawmakers final week, he claimed there stays a “excessive threat of kid sexual abuse that exists inside Scouts BSA,” and listed a dozen steps the group ought to take to develop into extra clear, together with releasing its so-called secret perversion information.

“The Boy Scouts of America isn’t secure for teenagers. It’s safer, however it isn’t secure for teenagers,” Johnson mentioned.

“We failed you. I failed you,” an emotional Johnson advised survivors in between tears.

 The Cushman Watt Scout Center, headquarters of the Boy Scouts of America for the Los Angeles Area Council
The Boy Scouts of America is dealing with 82,000 claims of sexual abuse from former members.
REUTERS/Fred Prouser/File Picture

Johnson was employed in 2010 because the group’s first youth safety director. He mentioned lately BSA brass grew to become much less receptive to reforms, even because the group confronted greater than 80,000 claims by abuse victims.

“The entire sudden, I wasn’t in a position to make the modifications that have been wanted, and there have been excuses and omissions…. I felt, naively, that I may make change inside the group, and there have been some successes, but it surely wasn’t almost sufficient,” Johnson mentioned.

“I’m fed up with individuals telling me in that group what to say, methods to say it, and what to consider.”

The previous official mentioned he was fired in December as a part of a monetary restructuring plan, and didn’t signal non-disclosure and non-disparagement agreements in alternate for severance.

Michael Johnson
“We failed you. I failed you,” Johnson advised abuse survivors.
AP Picture/Patrick Semansky

A BSA spokesperson denied the group tried to silence Johnson, and thanked him for his decade of labor defending youngsters.

“We’re disillusioned to listen to Mr. Johnson’s characterization of this system he spearheaded and the considerations he raised, particularly given his previous public help for the sturdy measures the BSA instituted at his advice,” a press release learn.

A lot of the intercourse abuse claims leveled towards the Boy Scouts occurred previous to 1990, earlier than BSA carried out legal background checks on scoutmasters and required two adults to be current throughout occasions.

Johnson claimed identified offenders have continued to nonetheless slip by means of the system on account of an absence of correct screening.

Boy Scouts of America uniforms
A lot of the intercourse abuse claims leveled towards the Boy Scouts occurred previous to 1990 earlier than the group carried out legal background checks on scoutmasters.
Christopher Millette/Erie Instances-Information through AP, File

The group is dealing with 82,000 claims of sexual abuse from former members in reference to its chapter reorganization plan. The Coalition of Abused Scouts for Justice, which represents many of the accusers, has secured almost $2 billion in settlements from BSA and its companions.

Plaintiffs will start voting to approve a brand new BSA chapter plan later this week earlier than ballots are tabulated in January.

With AP wires

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