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Autistic scout can get Eagle ranking, but lawsuit against BSA will continue

SALT LAKE CITY – An apparent change of heart for the Boy Scouts of America.  A Payson boy with Down syndrome and autism will be allowed to apply for the rank of Eagle Scout, after all.  But, the boy’s family is still not pleased with the decision.

Logan Blythe was all smiles talking about how he can get his Eagle Scout.  He has trouble communicating, but was able to say he’s happy.

But, even though the Boy Scouts of America issued a statement saying that award “has been, and still is, available to Logan”, his father, Chad, still intends to sue.  Blythe says, “This lights the fire even more.  This is gasoline and throwing another log.”

Blythe takes issue with how the BSA says they “apologize for the confusion.”  He believes there was absolutely no confusion at all when he was told his son couldn’t become an Eagle Scout.  Logan’s mother, Diane, says even if he gets the scouts highest ranking, it just won’t mean the same.  She says, “He used to love Scouts night.  He would run to his room and get his shirt to put it on.  Now he’s got disgust in the uniform.”

Their attorney, Ted McBride, says they plan to continue with the suit since other scouts with disabilities are in similar situations.  “They’re saying that, yeah, there’s a mechanism where he can achieve that, when they know he can’t, and they even acknowledge it has to be done as written,” McBride says, adding, “If they really want to have an effect, they need to change their policy.”

The statement posted on the Boy Scouts website says,

Many local volunteers and Scouting professionals at the Utah National Parks Council have worked closely with Boy Scout Logan Blythe and his family to deliver a positive experience in our programs.

We apologize for the confusion and want to be very 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.

The Boy Scouts of America is committed to making sure every Scout benefits from the program and has the opportunity to earn the Eagle Scout rank. 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. The National Disabilities Advancement Team wants to work directly with the Blythe family to review what Logan has accomplished based on his abilities and help determine a path to earn the Eagle Scout rank that is both appropriate and empowering for him.

Since its founding, the Boy Scouts of America has served youth members with physical, mental, and emotional disabilities. Scouting is uniquely positioned among youth programs to meet the needs of children with special needs by providing diverse programs and social experiences.

At its core, Scouting fosters the spirit of diversity and inclusiveness, and we are committed to continuing the Boy Scouts of America’s long history of working with Scouts with disabilities, including Logan Blythe, to help them succeed in and beyond Scouting.

FAQ

Were Logan’s merit badges revoked?

No, Logan still has the merit badges he worked on.

 

Was Logan demoted to a Cub Scout?

No, Logan is still registered as a Boy Scout.

 

Will Logan be able to earn his Eagle Scout rank?

The Boy Scouts of America is committed to making sure every Scout benefits from the program and has the opportunity to earn the Eagle Scout rank.  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.

The National Disabilities Advancement Team wants to work directly with the Blythe family to review what Logan has accomplished based on his abilities and help determine a path for him to earn the Eagle Scout rank that is both appropriate and empowering for their situation.​