Scout Oath
On my honor I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country
and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.

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Ethical Controversies

Not In My Back Yard

NIMBY (NOT IN MY BACK YARD)

Position One: Transfer the Threat

You live in a pleasant, middle-class neighborhood of large, single-family homes and a few small apartment buildings. You have lived in your current home about five years. This home was a bit of a stretch for your budget, but you thought it was a safe investment should you want to sell it in a few years. You also have three young children and there is a good neighborhood school five blocks away. A few blocks away is a single-family home owned by Desert Ranch Homes, a nonprofit agency that provides residential services for developmentally disabled and retarded clients. They operate the program as a community-based group home. Recently your neighborhood group has been concerned because of a new resident of the group home who has been convicted of exposing himself to children and was once charged with a more serious offense, although the latter charges were later dropped. He served time in prison, successfully completed a rehabilitation program, and is continuing to receive therapy.

Believing that this man was a threat to their children, the neighborhood group protested to Desert Ranch Homes, requesting that this client be moved somewhere else. No response was given from Desert Homes management. The neighborhood group then began picketing the home. When asked, you agree to participate in the protest because of your concern about your own children.

Defend your position.

Position Two: Let Him Stay

You live in a pleasant, middle-class neighborhood of large, single-family homes and a few small apartment buildings. You have lived in your current home about five years. This home was a bit of a stretch for your budget, but you thought it was a safe investment should you want to sell it in a few years. You also have three young children and there is a good neighborhood school five blocks away. A few blocks away is a single-family home owned by Desert Ranch Homes, a nonprofit agency that provides residential services for developmentally disabled and retarded clients. They operate the program as a community-based group home. Recently your neighborhood group has been concerned because of a new resident of the group home who has been convicted of exposing himself to children and was once charged with a more serious offense, although the latter charges were later dropped. He served time in prison, successfully completed a rehabilitation program, and is continuing to receive therapy.

Believing that this man was a threat to their children, the neighborhood group protested to Desert Ranch Homes, requesting that this client be moved somewhere else. No response was given from Desert Homes management. The neighborhood group then began picketing the home. When asked to participate, you refuse because you believe that the protests are violating the man's civil rights. Even though you have some concerns, you believe that because he has served his time he should be left alone.

Defend your position.