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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71130
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My son is an eight year old Cub Scout. Their was a st. Georges

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My son is an eight year old Cub Scout. Their was a st. George's day service and parade last Sunday which the scout movement like them to attend. Due to my ( his Farther) attitude to religious influence on children I chose to keep him away from the parade. At the end of this weeks normal Monday meeting while standing to attention the cubs where asked "would those who failed to attend the church parade please take one step forward" My son and one other did so. They all then received a few announcements before being told that those who had not stepped forward and that had attended the parade could collect a Mars Bar on the way out. The two others went without. No attempt was made to find out why they did not attend. My son came out extremely upset and distressed by the insident.

I have written to the leader of the local group and expressed my displeaser at the way this was done. I have since had a reply suggesting she was sorry that my son had been upset and would review the way this situation is handled in future. My question would be; how far should or could I take this matter. Should I push for a more sincere apology in front of the troup perhaps or even take it further. I was quite discusted that they should single out two young boys as objects of failure in front of they're piers.

I would appreciate any advice you can give. Thank you

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

I'm not sure what you are hoping to achieve? Ultimately you cannot force them to apologise if they refuse.

They have done nothing unlawful on these facts I'm afraid. That is not to say that you cannot complain but there is no particular legal action that you could take against them. I suppose he could leave if he chose.

I'm not sure its really a legal question though. Its a matter for you to sort out with them privately.

There isn't anything unlawful in confronting members for failing to attend parades of this nature. In fairness, the Scout movements do have religious links. They use church halls and they do arrange Church attendances.

You are free to refuse to do that but they are able to recognise that fact in this way.

I'm sorry this isn't the answer you wanted but it is the position that you face and I have a duty to inform you truthfully.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you that's fine just wanted to know if there was discrimination or humiliation ground but obviously not.
No, it wouldn't amount to unlawful discrimination. Its not for a racial, sexual, age, disability etc reason.

Its just an issue of naming and shaming which might be considered insensitive or might not. It could go either way on that point. I suppose some may take the view that you can't be a member of the Scouts and have an objection to religious but then equally naming and shaming young children probably isn't best practice.
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