Boy Scouts Shakes Head at Suit on Teen With Down Syndrome

Logan Blythe's dad says son was stripped of merit badges, Eagle Scout opportunity; BSA says no
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 21, 2018 11:58 AM CDT
Boy Scouts Shakes Head at Suit on Teen With Down Syndrome
In a Friday photo, Logan Blythe, 15, smiles during an interview in Salt Lake City, Utah.   (Chris Detrick/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP)

The Boy Scouts of America is pushing back after a lawsuit filed on behalf of a 15-year-old Utah boy. The complaint filed by Logan Blythe's father, Chad Blythe, alleges the BSA nixed a project Logan needed to complete to become an Eagle Scout because the organization decided Logan couldn't fulfill this requirement with previously approved modifications put in place to accommodate Logan's Down syndrome. According to the family's lawyer, the merit badges Logan had earned were also stripped away. "This is the very definition of discrimination," Blythe says in a YouTube video posted last week. But per USA Today, the BSA says Logan's badges weren't revoked, and that he can still become an Eagle Scout with whatever modifications are needed and with the help of its disabilities awareness arm.

"The process of achieving the Eagle Scout rank is rigorous for any Scout, but it is designed so that accommodations can be made for Scouts with disabilities or special needs," a BSA statement says, per the Washington Post. Blythe points out the statement contradicts what the group says on its own site about alternatives not being available for the Eagle Scout rank, with "no exceptions … with or without a disability." Blythe says Logan has the mental capacity of a 4-year-old, with developmental and verbal issues that make it difficult for him to follow directions, speak, or write, and impossible for him to memorize things. Blythe says his suit, which asks for damages of at least $1 and for the BSA to work with Logan, isn't just for his son. "If we can make a change … then the next kid … won't have to do what we're doing now," he notes. (A Cub Scout was removed from his den for questions to a lawmaker.)

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