Last week the Boy Scouts of America released their records detailing the history of sex abuse in the group. They titled these files the “perversion files.” The purpose of the files, kept since at least 1919, was to keep a record of pedophiles to ensure they did not re-enter the organization.
However, they show that some abusers slipped through the cracks, others were given a second chance and include evidence of some failures to take proper steps to report suspected abuse to authorities.
The Boy Scouts have issued an acknowledgement that in some incidents their response was “insufficient, inappropriate and wrong” and have apologized for their mishandling of certain situations.
And let’s not forget that generations of boys have had healthy, positive, life-affirming experiences with the Boy Scouts. This current report, which involves a small fraction of the millions of volunteers over the years, should not discount the positive aspects of the organization, the skills it has taught and positive values it has instilled in many boys
At the same time, are there lessons to be learned from the report?