by Kimberley Cummins
The people’s children must be protected at all costs, says Chief Commissioner of the Barbados Boy Scouts Association, Dr. Nigel Taylor.
He was speaking in reference to allegations that the Boy Scouts of America could face a wave of bad publicity as decades of records of confirmed or alleged child molesters within the US organisation are expected to be released soon.
He said often time people believed that when one sneezes in the States, Barbados catches a cold but he was adamant that this was one cold the Barbadian counterparts would not catch.
“The Barbados Boy Scouts Association is a member of the World Organisation of Scout Movements but at the same time Barbados follows its own constitution and its own policies and practises as it relates to what governs the scouts in the country. Barbados takes a very strong stance against any paedophiles and I have made it very clear in the past that there is no room- absolutely no room- in the Barbados Boy Scout Association for any paedophiles.
I have instructed my district commissioners that before people join the movement that a section in our constitution must be upheld in our Policy, Organisation and Rules which says, that there must be an investigation where persons would need to know those who are coming in.
“Granted we may not know if they are or not but if there is evidence to suggest that they are I can tell you the natural course of justice will obtain- they will be no cover up. You do not know how certain people respond in certain areas until a situation places itself at their disposal where you will get to see who they are but I guarantee you there will be no room in the Barbados Boy Scouts Association for any paedophiles, any person who practises homosexual behavioural patterns- not with the people little boys around the place- it will not be tolerated.
“If there is ever the suspect of a behaviour that is not in keeping with the Barbados Boy Scouts Association we give the leaders a very fair break by giving them recourse to natural justice. We don’t just jump and say ‘hey we are hearing this happening, that this man is a paedophile, this man is a homosexual he interfere with boys and jump on the band wagon and dismiss him’. It is nothing like that, we give him natural justice and he defends himself. The point I am trying to raise is people think that because it happened in the United Stated it can and will happen in Barbados, it certainly will not- at least not under my charge.
Taylor said the BBSA set up many structures to ensure the safety of the young boys. One such system was that when the boys were camping a list of all the leaders who were scheduled to be at that camp would be submitted to the office of the Chief Commissioner. In that way they would know who were with the boys at any given time. While other leaders may visit they were not allowed to sleep in.
“We uphold all child endangerment policy, all the rights that accompany through UNICEF as it relates to children and child abuse, we uphold because we believe that children must be protected. When parents place their boys in the association, they place the boys under the trust of leaders to whom they do not expect will molest their boys and treat them ill.
“Our profile in scouting is as such; that the boys must always be given the opportunity to be in a safe environment. The leaders must facilitate and encourage this safety. If they don’t have a safety net outside, when they join scouts they do with the understanding that they will not have the challenges that they have externally- scouting must be their safe haven.
“If you come and openly state your sexual orientation and preference the answer will be no- we will not have you will the people’s boy children but if you do not say anything and there is a case in point where evidence suggests that you touch a boy inappropriately then the necessary process in scouting will take place because the long and short is this; the people’s children must be protected at all costs,” the trained psychologist said.