Scouts pay out 42,000 over autism claim

Image caption Ben Gleeson joined the cub scout group in Hertfordshire in 2015

An 11-year-old child has received £ 42, 500 in compensation after his family members said his cub scout team discriminated against him for having autism.

Ben Gleeson joined a group in Hertfordshire within 2015, but was later told can not go to camps or indulge in athletics without supervision.

His family sued the group : saying it amounted to a prohibit – and the dispute was satisfied out of court last year.

The Scout Association said this had apologised and started a good inquiry.

Ben became a member of the 10th Harpenden Scout Team in January 2015, having formerly been a member of the beavers.

His parents stated they explained his autism towards the scout leaders and suggested ways of help calm and distract your pet, should he get upset.

Someone said his autism manifested as stress and anxiety to change and that he needed to understand plans in advance.

Someone said that although few people would realize he was autistic on initial meeting him, if something unforeseen happened he could become distressed.

‘Complete overreaction’

In March 2016, Ben had a short episode in a cub scout camp in which this individual became distressed. He tried to operate a short distance from the rest of the team at an indoor venue after he or she was asked to change into a footwear he could not find.

Later, he said this individual did not want to join an egg-and-spoon race because of a phobia of spoons.

Soon afterwards, the particular pack leaders said Ben could hardly travel with the rest of the group on the bus to events or take part in athletics. They also said he had to get one-to-one supervision at other activities.

The search group said the decision had been designed for the health and safety of the entire pack.

However , Ben’s parents – who are both attorneys – argued the decision effectively amounted to a ban.

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Media caption Beverly Gleeson said the Scout group’s decision would “single Ben out”

While she accepted her child needed some extra support, Ben’s mother, Beverly Gleeson, told the BBC the decision was a “complete overreaction”.

She said: “Pretty much every event had to be monitored on a one-to-one basis, which I sensed wasn’t inclusive. ”

She said the decision would “single Ben out” and that she terrifying it would make him “feel different”.

“I sensed he didn’t need it. He did not have this level of supervision at college. He’d made one mistake after which that was it, they wanted to associated with rules and regulations. It was supposed to be a conversation, ” she added.

Ben, who said he loved being with his friends and getting involved in the activities, added: “It was very upsetting, my friends were there and I very enjoyed it. ”

“I don’t like the idea of someone subsequent me all the time, ” he additional.

Image copyright BBC/PA

The family’s solicitor, Chris Fry of Smolder Law, said: “I am pretty sure nobody goes into scouting looking to exclude anybody. Those giving up their time have to know that they are properly trained and that they are usually protected by the organisation that they adore and serve.

“The organisation needs to anticipate that scouts with autism need reasonable changes so they can access activities in the same way because other children. ”

The family eventually sued under the Equal rights Act, as well as for breach of personal privacy and under data protection laws – claiming emails and a briefing to parents had identified all of them.

Insurers for your Scout Association settled the case from court, paying the Gleeson loved ones £ 42, 000 plus expenses.

The Gleesons have donated some of the money to some local autism charity, while Ben’s portion is being held in a trust.

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The tenth Harpenden Scout Group disputed a few of the family’s claims.

Microsoft Gleeson said it was only following the BBC had become involved that the Scout’s national headquarters apologised to them.

In a statement, the particular Scout Association said: “The dealing with of Ben’s case was totally unacceptable.

“We are very sorry that Ben great family were not supported as they must have been by their cub scout group, and we have made a personal apology for them.

“While cases such as this are very unusual, we know that action should be taken. We have established an query to investigate what went wrong in cases like this. ”

The organization said it was also looking at programs for mandatory training for all mature volunteers on “how to make acceptable adjustments for young people with developing disabilities”.

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