Father suing Boy Scouts of America after his son with Down syndrome is rejected and stripped of his badges

Logan's father is suing the organisation for $1 in damages and his son's reinstatement in Boy Scouts of America

Chelsea Ritschel
in New York
Tuesday 20 March 2018 15:21 GMT
Logan in his Boy Scouts uniform (Chad Blythe)
Logan in his Boy Scouts uniform (Chad Blythe)

The father of a boy with Down syndrome is suing the Boy Scouts of America after his son was banned from becoming an Eagle Scout and stripped of his badges.

Logan Blythe, 15, from Utah, enrolled in the Boy Scouts after-school program three years ago after his parents confirmed with the Utah National Park Council that Logan would be accommodated and able to fully participate in the program.

According to his father, Chad, Logan was awarded a variety of merit badges over the years and was elated to be part of the group.

Rising through the ranks, the next step in Logan’s journey as a Boy Scout would have been becoming an Eagle Scout - the highest ranking in the Boy Scouts organisation.

In order to become an Eagle Scout, a boy must earn a total of 21 merit badges and demonstrate leadership through a volunteer task.

Logan wanted more than anything to earn his Eagle Scout Award, according to his dad, who helped him plan his Eagle Scout Project, which would entail handing out maternity gifts for newborns and parents in the local community hospital.

In November, Logan’s project was approved by the UNCP and “a ceremony was held acknowledging his perseverance, willpower and inspiration,” according to his father.

Logan with his Boy Scouts leaders (Chad Blythe)

However, a day later, the Blythe family received an email from the District Advancement Committee suspending Logan’s Eagle Project approval which read: “Please do not do any more work on his project… When National was contacted about the possible alternates, we were told that for Star [sic] Life and Eagle Ranks, there are no alternates. The young man MUST do the requirements as written, including leadership responsibilities… I never should have allowed this to be approved for the above reasons. I sincerely apologize and regret any false hope we have given.”

Additionally, the organisation stripped Logan’s prior badges - after they decided he hadn’t actually met the requirements necessary to obtain many of the badges.

According to the Boy Scouts of America website: “Boy Scouts with disabilities may qualify for the Eagle Scout rank. The Scout must earn as many of the required merit badges as he can. He then submits an application for alternate merit badges.”

Logan has not worn his uniform since he was stripped of badges (Chad Blythe)

Since the incident, Chad told The Independent Logan has been “visibly upset and it still shows when we speak about this. And as his parents we are hurt, frustrated, and just plain shocked by such discrimination after being lead to believe Logan was going to be an Eagle Scout.

“He still will not attend any meetings for the Scouts and is not willing to wear his uniform any further,” he continued.

Logan with a medal awarded by the Boy Scouts of America (Chad Blythe)

Now, Chad has filed a civil lawsuit on behalf of his son against the Boy Scouts of America for “intentional infliction of emotional distress.”

He is asking for damages of $1 - and reinstatement and accommodation within the Boy Scouts of America for his son.

Chad told The Independent the Boy Scouts of America have not responded to the lawsuit.

The Independent has reached out to the Boy Scouts organisation for comment.

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