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Former Boy Scout youth protection official says group is still ‘not safe for kids’

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A former Boy Scouts of America official that was tasked with shielding children from intercourse abuse says the group is still harmful to youngsters, and never dedicated to reform.

Michael Johnson urged Congress to look into the BSA’s efforts to cover-up abuse throughout a tearful speech on the National Press Club Tuesday.

In a letter to lawmakers final week, he claimed there stays a “high risk of child sexual abuse that exists within Scouts BSA,” and listed a dozen steps the group ought to take to change into extra clear, together with releasing its so-called secret perversion information.

“The Boy Scouts of America is not safe for kids. It is safer, but it is not safe for kids,” Johnson stated.

“We failed you. I failed you,” an emotional Johnson instructed survivors in between tears.

 The Cushman Watt Scout Center, headquarters of the Boy Scouts of America for the Los Angeles Area Council
The Boy Scouts of America is going through 82,000 claims of sexual abuse from former members.
REUTERS/Fred Prouser/File Photo

Johnson was employed in 2010 because the group’s first youth protection director. He stated lately BSA brass turned much less receptive to reforms, even because the group confronted greater than 80,000 claims by abuse victims.

“All of the sudden, I wasn’t able to make the changes that were needed, and there were excuses and omissions…. I felt, naively, that I could make change within the organization, and there were some successes, but it wasn’t nearly enough,” Johnson stated.

“I’m fed up with people telling me in that organization what to say, how to say it, and what to believe.”

The former official stated he was fired in December as a part of a monetary restructuring plan, and didn’t signal non-disclosure and non-disparagement agreements in trade for severance.

Michael Johnson
“We failed you. I failed you,” Johnson instructed abuse survivors.
AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

A BSA spokesperson denied the group tried to silence Johnson, and thanked him for his decade of labor defending youngsters.

“We are disappointed to hear Mr. Johnson’s characterization of the program he spearheaded and the concerns he raised, especially given his past public support for the robust measures the BSA instituted at his recommendation,” a press release learn.

Most of the intercourse abuse claims leveled towards the Boy Scouts occurred previous to 1990, earlier than BSA performed prison background checks on scoutmasters and required two adults to be current throughout occasions.

Johnson claimed recognized offenders have continued to still slip via the system as a consequence of an absence of correct screening.

Boy Scouts of America uniforms
Most of the intercourse abuse claims leveled towards the Boy Scouts occurred previous to 1990 earlier than the group performed prison background checks on scoutmasters.
Christopher Millette/Erie Times-News through AP, File

The group is going through 82,000 claims of sexual abuse from former members in reference to its chapter reorganization plan. The Coalition of Abused Scouts for Justice, which represents many of the accusers, has secured almost $2 billion in settlements from BSA and its companions.

Plaintiffs will start voting to approve a brand new BSA chapter plan later this week earlier than ballots are tabulated in January.

With AP wires

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