Scouts from Troop 793 of Glenelg, Maryland fold a flag during the Star-Spangled Camporee and celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America at Fort McHenry in Baltimore on October 2, 2010. UPI/Kevin Dietsch | License Photo
IRVING, Texas, Oct. 18 (UPI) -- The Boy Scouts of America Thursday apologized to victims of abuse and their families and said it has "enhanced" its policies for protecting children.
After the release of long-secret BSA documents by an attorney in Portland, Ore., the organization called the files "a key method used to keep Scouts safe" by recording the activities of what it calls "ineligible volunteers."
"There have been instances where people misused their positions in Scouting to abuse children, and in certain cases, our response to these incidents and our efforts to protect youth were plainly insufficient, inappropriate, or wrong," BSA National President Wayne Perry said in a release. "Where those involved in Scouting failed to protect, or worse, inflicted harm on children, we extend our deepest and sincere apologies to victims and their families."
Perry said the organization is currently a leader in preventing child abuse, requiring background checks and mandating reporting "of even suspected abuse."
"We have continuously enhanced our multitiered policies and procedures to ensure we are in line with and, where possible, ahead of society's knowledge of abuse and best practices for prevention," he said.
The Los Angeles Times previously reported the files indicate men expelled by the BSA for abusing children typically engaged in so-called grooming -- in which they seduce victims incrementally with favors, gifts and personal attention -- but no demographic profile appears to point to sexual predation.
The BSA has expelled men who work in law enforcement, teaching and public service, as well as blue-collar and white-collar workers. Teenagers, seniors and all ages in between were among those expelled from the organization.