Local News

Chapel Hill Scout Troops In Middle Of Conflict Between School Board, Scouts' Stand On Gays

Posted December 6, 2000

— An adult debate could end up hurting several Cub Scout Troops in Chapel Hill. The problem has to do with the Scouts' policy concerning gays.

For the last three years, Cub Scout Pack 825 had made it their tradition to meet at McDougle Elementary School, but the Scouts may have to find a new sponsor and a new place to fly their flag.

Last summer's Supreme Court decision that allows the group to exclude people based on their sexual orientation has the Chapel Hill-Carrboro school system questioning their relationship with the group.

"The students and the adults in our community seem to be caught in the middle," says Kim Hoke of Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools. "The Scouts' position on a national basis runs counter to our school board's policy on that."

Right now, the Scouts do not have to pay to use the school. If the board decides they can no longer act as a direct sponsor to the group, Pack 825 will have to pay $42 a hour to use the school. They say it is a price that they simply cannot pay.

"We are thinking about what other kinds of organizations that we can work with to pick up our charter if the school board decides that it is not appropriate for the school to sponsor us," says Joel Dunn of Pack 825.

There are currently two packs that are directly sponsored by schools. If the school board decides that they need to sever their relationship, 40 packs will have to pay to use the facility.

A decision could be made in January.

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