The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) said on Tuesday that it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy amid a flood of lawsuits over allegations of child sexual abuse stretching back decades.
In a statement, the BSA said bankruptcy proceedings will aim to achieve two key objectives: equitably compensate victims who were harmed during their time in scouting and continue carrying out its mission for years to come. The BSA intends to use the Chapter 11 process to create a Victims Compensation Trust that would provide equitable compensation to victims.
Scouting programs, including unit meetings and activities, council events, other scouting adventures and countless service projects, will continue throughout this process. The BSA fully intends to maintain its commitments to its members, families, volunteer leaders, employees, retirees, donors and alumni to the fullest extent permitted by bankruptcy laws. The organization also will pay its vendors and partners for all goods and services delivered from today forward.
Local councils, which provide programming, financial, facility and administrative support to Scouting units in their communities, have not filed for bankruptcy. They are legally separate, distinct and financially independent from the national organization.
“The BSA cares deeply about all victims of abuse and sincerely apologizes to anyone who was harmed during their time in Scouting. We are outraged that there have been times when individuals took advantage of our programs to harm innocent children,” said Roger Mosby, president and chief executive officer. “While we know nothing can undo the tragic abuse that victims suffered, we believe the Chapter 11 process – with the proposed Trust structure – will provide equitable compensation to all victims while maintaining the BSA’s important mission.”
Photo courtesy BSA