Response from Boy Scouts of America Regarding Decades of Sex Abuse by Former Scout Leader

A statement from the Boy Scouts of America provided to the LA Times in response to the investigation into decades of sexual abuse by Rick Turley:

“There is no abuse more abhorrent and intolerable than that of children, particularly to the Boy Scouts of America for which youth protection has always been a key priority. The Boy Scouts became aware of Mr. Turley’s conduct within 24 hours of it occurring and expelled him from Scouting in the U.S. In the thirty years since then, the BSA has continued to enhance its youth protection efforts as society has increased its understanding of the dangers children face. Since 1994 the BSA has required criminal background checks for all professionals and staff who work with youth. Today, all employees and volunteers go through a full computerized criminal background check and complete mandatory youth protection training. Any abuse — or suspicion of abuse — must be reported to local authorities and to the Council office and any anyone suspected is immediately banned from Scouting.” via the LA Times.

BSA has created a Youth Protection division as a result of these cases. A statement on their website described their current policies:

Our youth protection efforts comprise three key components: (1) a multi-layered volunteer application and screening process, including local selection and screening, national criminal background checks, and verification that Scouting has received no prior allegations of inappropriate conduct; (2) extensive training programs designed specifically to teach Scouts and adult volunteers how to recognize and prevent abuse; and (3) clear policies for the safety of youth members.

To cite just a few recent advancements, in June the Boy Scouts of America made Youth Protection training mandatory and now requires all of our registered adult volunteers to repeat training every two years. We also hired Mike Johnson, an internationally recognized expert on child abuse detection and prevention, to further augment and help provide leadership to Scouting’s youth protection efforts. Mike and his team have been reviewing—and will continue to assess—our Youth Protection policies, procedures, and training materials to ensure we remain at the forefront of youth protection. Last, we have reinforced our commitment to sharing the continued advancements we are making and to address questions we have received from our members and the public.

You can find more information on the Boy Scouts of America Youth Protection Website.