The Boy Scouts of America is considering filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy to help deal with the recent fallout from numerous sex abuse allegations.
Declaring bankruptcy would put a pause on all litigation and give the Boy Scouts a chance to negotiate with those who have sued the organization.
Declaring bankruptcy is a common move for organizations dealing with sex abuse allegations. In recent years, more than 20 religious groups have filed for Chapter 11 to negotiate with victims. USA Gymnastics followed suit last week as it continues to negotiate with the many victims of longtime gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.
In a letter to employees Wednesday, the Boy Scouts said it intended to “explore all options available” to ensure that local and national programs continue uninterrupted.
Since its founding in 1910, more than 110 million people have participated in the Boy Scouts’ educational programs – which focus on outdoor skills, leadership, and character development.
The organization is now struggling to stay afloat amid dwindling membership and legal costs associated with sex abuse allegations. According to public filings, the group has paid law firm Ogletree Deakins over $11 million since 2015.
In an attempt to increase participation, they even opened the organization to girls. Unfortunately, not everyone saw the move as a step towards equality — especially considering their checkered past with bans on gays serving in leadership roles (lifted in 2015).
In fact, the Boy Scouts is fighting a lawsuit from the Girl Scouts, which complain that its push for girls to join its ranks is causing confusion for parents.
There’s no doubt organizations like the Boy Scouts are a great way for children to make friends and learn important skills. Here’s to hoping they get their act together.