By now you may have heard that the Boy Scouts of America have taken a stand against bullying by changing a Tenderfoot requirement to read, “Explain the importance of the buddy system as it relates to your personal safety on outings and in your neighborhood. Describe what a bully is and how you should respond to one.”
The BSA website (scouting.org) has a good explaining of this requirement for Boy Scouts and troop leadership. It states:
A bully is someone who wants to hurt another person. Bullying can be physical, verbal, emotional, social, behavioral, or any combination. Bullying can also take place just about anywhere: on the bus, at school, at soccer practice, even online, via the Internet. However, bullying can be stopped. Help put an end to the bullying by taking action first yourself.
- If ignoring the bully doesn’t work, stand up for yourself with words. Rehearse what you want to say to that you will feel in control of your emotions when you confront the bully.
- Tell the bully how hurtful it feels to be bullied, and ask why you are the target. Ask the bully to stop.
- Sometimes, agreeing with the bully and having a ready response will work (“So what if I have a face full of zits. What’s it to you?”).
- Hang out with a couple of friends; try not to be alone.
- Tell an adult you trust, such as a parent, teacher, or coach.
This requirement is described on page 57 of the 2008 edition of the Boy Scout Handbook.
Luckily, Troop 68 has not had many instances of bullying within the troop during the last several years. When it does happen we try to “nip it in the bud” by talking to the Scout doing the bullying. I think it is a decent requirement to add to the Tenderfoot Rank and will allow us an opportunity to talk to Scouts about the subject.