The Boy Scouts of America, an organization that was once a prominent experience in the lives of young boys across the country, has recently filed for bankruptcy. This claim arose after hundreds of men filed sexual abuse charges from when they were Scouts in the organization.
The institution has been considering bankruptcy since late 2018. Although lawyers across the country have been receiving cases involving these allegations for decades, the organization’s decision to file for bankruptcy limits the amount of time victims have to come forward.
The bankruptcy filed is specifically known as Chapter 11, which allow for institutions or organizations to reorganize. This way, it is believed that while the organization will take hits on their reputation, they won’t shut down completely.
“I’m sure the decision to file bankruptcy wasn’t a light one,” said Gabe Zerbe (’21). “As an organization, I’m sure it was their best decision as Boy Scouts has never been about generating profit from what I understood while being in it.”
Although the BSA’s national chair, Jim Turley, encourages survivors to come forward and share their stories, the filing creates a date where victims must report by in order to receive compensation. Currently, the organization faces almost 300 claims.
Aside from the numerous sexual abuse claims against the organization, it has also been facing a declining membership over the past decade and faced much controversy over their decisions to let girls and non-heterosexual people join their ranks.
“I have never personally had an experience with the organization, nor do I know anyone personally who has. It does seem like a thing that could easily happen, however, if someone with bad intentions wanted it to,” said Ethan Zalac (‘22). “The process to become an adult leader in the BSA is fairly simple, but even so, there are multiple sanctions put in place by the BSA in order to prevent this from happening, even if the wrong people get into positions of power in the organization.”
“Most likely, many of these assaults on minors happen through violating rules the BSA has put in place as preventative measures,” said Zalac.
Although the Boy Scouts of America was once a common experience for young men, people now speculate whether or not it will continue to be after the organization’s bankruptcy.