A Payson, Utah family has filed a suit against the Boy Scouts of America alleging that the organization discriminated against their son and his disabilities by blocking his path to earning the coveted designation of Eagle Scout. 15-year-old Logan Blythe has low functioning Down’s Syndrome and is also autistic. Logan’s father Chad filed the lawsuit last week in Utah’s fourth district court, naming the Boy Scouts of America and the Utah National Parks Council in the suit.
Blythe claimed that his son had been working hard on his service project creating kits including blankets and onesies for special needs babies. However, the local scout officials determined that Logan had not followed the requirements needed to meet the standard to obtain the Eagle Scout rank. Blythe was discouraged by the news because previously the scouts had given his son special accommodations to earn his merit badges in light of Logan’s disability.
Per regulations, Boy Scouts must earn 21 merit badges in addition to a special Eagle project to obtain the honor of Eagle Scout. Blythe believes that the Boy Scouts organization should make exceptions for children with disabilities and adjust the expectations to fit their abilities. Because Blythe states this is not about the money, the lawsuit only seeks damages of one dollar. In the lawsuit, Blythe says his family has suffered emotional distress because of the incident, pointing to the fact that Logan does not want to even put on his Scout uniform any longer. The Boy Scouts of America issued a statement saying that they are working with the family to offer an alternative path to obtaining the merit badges, as well as allowing Logan to continue working on his goal past the usual age of eligibility normally set at age 18.