Complaint spurs Seattle Public Schools to cut ties with Boy Scouts
SEATTLE — A complaint levied by a parent recently spurred Seattle Public Schools to put an end to a class with curriculum provided by the Boy Scouts of America, the district announced Wednesday.
A popular class on outdoor education previously taught by a district employee at Garfield High School in Seattle used curriculum and insurance from the Boy Scouts of America.
But when a parent filed a claim about the course, saying they were concerned with discriminatory practices used by the Boy Scouts, school officials decided to investigate the class further.
The Boy Scouts of America maintains a ban on openly gay adult leaders. Organizations such as GLAAD, a LGBT rights advocacy group, have long been calling for public schools to end their affiliation with the Boy Scouts, saying the group’s decision to not allow openly gay leaders is discriminatory.
School officials reviewed the class and curriculum, Seattle Public Schools said, and decided the course would no longer be taught. Not because of discriminatory practices, but instead because of the lack in academic rigor of the teachings.
“We reviewed this course offering and determined that the affiliation of Boys Scouts of America with a credit-bearing course is not appropriate,” Seattle Public Schools officials said in a release. “The review revealed a consensus that there was concern over the academic rigor of the course. School administration had previous concerns about course content and agreed that a curriculum was needed.”
Since the review, garfield High School has updated the course, which now focuses more in the field of science, officials said.
In 2013, BSA reversed a long standing ban on gay youth.