Boys Scouts of America Files for Bankruptcy
The Boy Scouts of America has filed bankruptcy for protection amid its sex-abuse cases. The non-profit group is now joining the groups such as the U.S.A. Gymnastics group and the Catholic diocese. The bankruptcy filing allows the BSA to continue operations, while trying to handle the big questions as to whether it can survive in the future. This filing only affects the non-profit as a national organization. The state and local groups will not be affected as a result. Thousands have come forward stating they were abused as scouts, with many more expected to come forward.
By filing in bankruptcy court, all lawsuits against the scouts have been frozen, and deadlines have been made for future filings against it. Chairman Jim Turley told the New York Times that this filing is not so they can get out of handling the suits against the BSA, but to be able to handle it all at once instead of one at a time. The law firm handling these lawsuits against the BSA claims to have almost 2,000 clients. In a case in the early 2000's, the court found the BSA liable for punitive damages at $18.5 million. The files that were uncovered were previously privately kept by the BSA, with some dating back to its inception in the early 1900's.
Since the allegations against the scouts has happened, they have worked to be more inclusive and change with the times by changing their guidelines for entry to be with more societal norms. In 2017, the scouts even allowed girls to participate. With all of these changes, the membership is still half of what it used to be in the 1970's.
The outcome seems bleak for the scouts, only time will tell if they will be able to survive all of these suits, or end a program that helped shape a lot of boys into men including U.S. Presidents since 1916.