Our Special Needs son was unfarily denied an award by the Orange County Council of Scouts. They didn't even consider him for the award, and we know it was because of discrimination. The worst part is that they lied to us in writing and to our faces about his status, and when caught in the lie, they became defensive.
In January 2012, shortly after receiving First Aid training, our son provided emergency life saving treatment to a stranger, while in uniform conducting Scout duties. He was visiting churches spreading the message of "Scout Sunday". One of the requirements for the award has to do with the health of the patient. When the 71-year old victim was passed out on the floor, her daughter told David that the victim had just been released from the hospital where she had been treated for a blocked carotid artery. The victim was transported by ambulance to the hospital, where remained for three (3) days.
For his actions, he received letters of commendation from the Pastor and the Anaheim Fire Department. We were told that he was being nominated for a national medal.
His Scouting Background
Our son joined Cub Scouts at age 11. We sought an age waiver for him due to his multiple handicaps – brain damage, vision problems, lung problems, and cerebral palsy. Despite his limitations, David earned his Arrow of Light in two years. The Arrow of Light is the highest award a child can earn in Scouting. It is the only Cub Scout award that can be worn on the Scout uniform, and it can be worn on the adult uniform. It’s a big deal.
Because I was so happy with Scouting, I wrote the Orange County Council of Scouting a letter thanking them. They were so moved that they changed the entire 2011 fund-raising drive. The drive focused solely on how Scouting helped our disabled son reach his potential. The Council refused to use any pictures of our son because we are African American and African-American make up less than 1.8% of Council. This statement was told to me directly by the person in charge of fund raising shortly before she left to join another Council. She actually pulled out our 2010-2015 Strategic Plan and showed me where it was written that the Council was focusing solely on Hispanics and Asians, and then she invited me to "do the math".
Months went by and we didn't hear back about the honor. When I wrote the Council in June to express my concerns about his award, they “magically” discovered his “heroism” award. They originally claimed it was the "heroism" award and we made a huge deal of it. At the very cheesy ceremony they handed him a District certificate (with his name misspelled!) and claimed that Nationals rejected his application.
I naturally called Nationals. They claimed they never received his application. After getting the run-around we determined that Orange County Council of Scouts didn't think his life saving efforts amounted to anything. Meanwhile, OC BSA has nominated several other non African-American Scouts for national awards. These other Scouts saved family members but had no outside witnesses.
Nationals later changed its story after I lobbied my formal compliant. BSA President stated "I would take a bullet for Jeff", referring to OC BSA head Jeff Herman.
Right away I knew we wouldn't get help from Nationals. We don't want sue the BSA. Our son is 3rd-generation Scout. I am also a First Class Girl Scouts, and my older sisters, nieces, and my grandniece are/ were Scouts. My mother was my Scout leader. We have left the Orange County Council and our son is a Lone Scout. He is home schooled and we put him in Scouting so he could socialize with other boys, but due to their actions (this was not an isolated event, but rather, the proverbial straw), he is now a Lone Scout. He is a Lone Scout in a county with 30,000+ Scouts. Please tell OCBSA that ALL children should be judged by their actions and not used to show how well they are doing meeting their strategic plan. Please support David’s bid for his National Medal of Heroism. He earned it. If he were a Mexican kid, OC BSA would have nominated him. Race shouldn't matter, OC BSA.
David Eugene Rozier, Jr earned his National Medal of Heroism and you should have nominated him for the award.
In January 2012, shortly after receiving First Aid training, a legally blind, brain damaged, cerebral palsied BOY SCOUT provided emergency life saving treatment to a stranger, while in uniform conducting Scout duties. He was visiting churches spreading the message of "Scout Sunday". For his actions, he received letters of commendation from the Pastor and the Anaheim Fire Department.
How can you NOT believe that is worth celebrating? While African-Americans may not fit in comfortably of the Orange County's stated goal to increase Hispanic and Asian boy participation, David E. Rozier, Jr. earned National consideration and should not have been ignored simply because he of is race. It is clear from your refusal to display him in your 2011 fundraising letter that you intend to hide this talented child from the public's view. Please stop your discriminatory policies which hurt African-American children, particularly one that has already overcome so much.