The Boy Scouts Are Being Sued After Demoting A Scout With Down Syndrome

by Christina Marfice
Image via Chad Blythe

Logan Blythe’s Eagle Scout project was rejected just before he was demoted to Cub Scout

Logan Blythe, a Utah teenager with Down syndrome, has been a Boy Scout since he was eight years old. Now, six years later, he was looking forward to becoming an Eagle Scout this year. But all that changed when the national Boys Scouts of America not only rejected his proposal for his Eagle Scout project, but informed him that 22 of his previously earned merit badges wouldn’t be recognized.

Yes, this actually happened.

Blythe was approved for and earned the alternative merit badges, which are an option within the Boy Scouts for kids who may not be able to complete traditional merit badges. In the application for alternative badges, the Boy Scouts organization states, “The Eagle Scout rank may be achieved by a Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, or qualified* Venturer or Sea Scout who has a physical or mental disability by qualifying for alternative merit badges.” That’s what Blythe was working toward, but since his 22 alternative merit badges aren’t being recognized, his rank is now Cub Scout, which is typically for children 10 and under. Blythe is 15. Yes, if your blood is boiling right about now, it should be.

Image via Chad Blythe

This all came after Blythe submitted his proposal for his Eagle Scout project. He was planning to create newborn kits for a local hospital and personally distribute them to new parents. The project was approved by Blythe’s local chapter, who “even [took] a picture with Logan in his full uniform,” Blythe’s dad, Chad Blythe, told The Mighty. But when the local chapter submitted the project to the national office, they were told to suspend it. The Blythes met with their local chapter, where they were told that Blythe’s previous merit badges had been voided. The local chapter had previously approved all of Blythe’s merit badges.

“They did so because they felt it was the right thing to do,” Chad Blythe added. “The local leaders made modifications to the requirements so he could earn them.”

The Blythe family is now suing the Boy Scouts of America, asking for $1 million in damages and that Blythe be reinstated.

Image via Chad Blythe

“We have yet to hear from the [Boy Scouts of America] regarding the lawsuit,” Chad Blythe told Scary Mommy. But meanwhile, the family is seeing tons of support from people who have heard their heartbreaking story.

“We have had hundreds of people offer their support, and their own Eagle Scout Honors to my son,” he added. “I cannot say how humbled I am and how grateful I am to them and the good people here in Utah!”