Last week, a Boy Scout parent leader, Mark Kern, was arrested after admitting that he showed hardcore porn to kids.
But perhaps more shocking is that another parent — the one who raised objections about Kern — was not thanked, but rather received a letter from the South Florida Boy Scout Council warning him that he will be kicked out unless he stopped making accusations.
Last week, Kern was arrested by Sunrise Police for allegedly showing five kids several porno videos while at a fundraiser inside a church. Kern admitted to showing the porn, according to an arrest report, and now faces two felony counts of distributing obscene material to a child.
But that incident happened in November.
According to another parent, whom we'll call "Joe" because his child is one of the victims, several parent-leaders within the Boy Scout troop, including a Broward Sheriff's Office deputy named Aaron Moore, were informed of he porn incident months ago but refused to report it to law enforcement and preferred to handle the matter internally because Kern was a personal friend.
Kern was removed from parent-volunteer duties back in December, but Joe pushed for the Boy Scouts to take matters further and report the incident to law enforcement. He met only resistance, he says. In a letter dated June 9, just two days before Sunrise Police visited Kern's home and later arrested him, "Scout Executive" Brick Huffman wrote to Joe:
"Your service and contributions to Scouting have been much appreciated. Unfortunately in the last several months there have been a number of instances where your actions have caused or contributed to conflicts which have distracted volunteers and professionals from the mission of Scouting.Other parents were CC'd on the letter, including Moore, the BSO deputy.
Your behavior has continued to result in complaints and evidence of conduct inconsistent with the desired behavior of Scouting leaders, including but not limited to"
- Making serious allegations regarding the behavior and actions of other leaders and then refusing to provide any details upon which such allegations can be investigated and appropriate action be determined.
- Making derogatory comments regarding other leaders so as to create conflict and deter volunteers from participating in Scouting.
- Inappropriately including youth members in communications regarding adult matters.
- Bullying and making threats to other volunteers on matters where you disagreed with them.
- Demonstrating an antagonistic and negative attitude.
You should understand that the BSA and local councils reserve the right to revoke the registration of any adult leader when it is determined they are not suitable to serve. Adult leadership is a privilege, and the BSA program requires that only adult leaders possessing the moral, educational, and emotional qualities required for service are allowed to serve.
If you do not cease to engage in this unacceptable behavior, I will have to take additional action, up to and including the revocation of your membership privileges. It is my sincere hope that this does not become necessary and that your transfer to a new troop will allow your son to fully enjoy the Scouting experience.
As I have previously stated, if you have reason to believe that the safety and well-being of Scoutsis at risk, you must immediately provide me with enough information to allow me to take appropriate action.
We hope you understand and respect this decision is being made in the best interest of serving the youth who are members of the Boy Scouts of America.
Huffman tells New Times that the letter was not in reference to the porn allegations.
"The letter had nothing to do with Mark Kern," Huffman said. "This letter was about other allegations Joe made and the manner in which he made them, but had nothing to do with Mark Kern."
Huffman said he couldn't go into detail about the other allegations but did say they largely had to do with $400 Joe paid to the troop. Joe had asked for a refund to place his son in a different troop, but the Boy Scout administration said IRS laws prevented nonprofits from transferring money.
When asked about the porn incident involving Kern, Huffman said the Boy Scouts administration did its "due diligence" by kicking Kern out of the troop and asking Moore what they should do.
"Moore is a BSO deputy, and his decision as a police officer was not to file charges because other parents in the troop did not wish to do so," Huffman said.
Moore did not return calls for comment.