A combination of lawsuits and low membership may spell the end for the youth organization.
The Boy Scouts of America, which celebrated its 110th anniversary just two weeks ago, has filed for bankruptcy. This is the latest in a series of controversies that have made this an especially tumultuous time for the enduring youth organization.
The BSA has been hit with several hundred lawsuits from families of children who claim to have suffered sexual abuse at the hands of BSA staff. Outside of these lawsuits, thousands of alleged sexual abuse victims, both young and old, have come forward to speak out against the organization. As a result of the ongoing litigation and controversies, as well as generally low membership numbers in the last few years, the BSA is in dire straits.
Paul Mones, an attorney who is representing a large number of cases against the BSA, admonished the organization for their behavior over the years. “These young boys took an oath. They pledged to be obedient, pledged to support the Scouts and pledged to be honorable. Many of them are extremely angry that that’s not what happened to them and the Boy Scouts of America did not step up in the way they should have.”
For their part, the BSA has repeatedly expressed remorse over this turn of events, saying that they “care deeply about all victims of child abuse and sincerely apologize to anyone who was harmed during their time in Scouting.” They went on to say, “We believe victims, we support them, we pay for counseling by a provider of their choice and we encourage them to come forward. It is the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) policy that all incidents of suspected abuse are reported to law enforcement.”
The BSA has listed liabilities of between $100 million and $500 million and estimated assets of $1 billion to $10 billion. Due to their bankruptcy filing, all of the lawsuits leveled against the BSA are currently on hold.