Boy Scouts of America Demoted a Boy With Down Syndrome
The Boy Scouts Demoted a Boy With Down Syndrome — and Now They're Getting Sued
After participating in Boy Scouts for six years, 15-year-old Logan Blythe, a teenager from Utah with Down syndrome and autism, was more than eager to officially become an Eagle Scout — until, that is, his formal Eagle Scout Project was rejected. And if you thought things couldn't get any worse, Logan was then demoted to a Cub Scout, which is the rank for children who are 10 years old, and yes, we're serious.
The trouble all started when Logan went to submit his Eagle Scout project, a program that would give newborn kits to parents in hospitals who just had babies. Sounds perfect, right? We thought so, too. After reviewing Logan's project, the Boy Scouts of America told him to hold off because apparently the 22 "alternative" badges Logan earned during his years as a Cub and a Boy Scout didn't count.
And despite the fact that Logan had earned alternative badges because of his disability, going through that channel was a perfectly acceptable way of becoming an Eagle Scout.
Chad Blythe, Logan's dad, told The Mighty exactly how the situation unraveled. Apparently, the local Boy Scouts chapter approved the project at first and "even [took] a picture with Logan in his full uniform." But after sending it to the higher-ups at the national level, Logan's project was "suspended." Chad was alerted to the news via email and his heart immediately sank.
"We were led to believe everything was fine and Logan could get through; he could earn merit badges, advance in rank for as long as he did what he needed to do," explained Chad.
In a statement released on March 20, the Boy Scouts of America attempted to clear up any misconceptions about becoming an Eagle Scout for kids with Down syndrome, saying:
"We want to be clear — the option to earn the rank of Eagle Scout has been — and still is — available to Logan. We remain inspired by his dedication to Scouting, and we hope to continue working with Logan and his family to support him in the effort to earn the rank of Eagle Scout through the engagement of our National Disabilities Advancement Team."
But for the Blythes, the statement doesn't quite cut it. The family is suing the Boy Scouts of America to the tune of $1 million for damages, demanding that Logan be reinstated to the Boy Scouts and his alternative badges honored.
"[Logan] was saddened by [the decision]. Since this has occurred, we now struggle to get him to wear his uniform. That was not the case before."