SCA Corporate Office Releases Official Statement on Schragger Case

The office of the President of the SCA has released an official statement on the alleged sexual assault case in the East Kingdom. November 7, 2003
Milpitas, California
Office of the President

The SCA regrets the tragic events which have occurred in Lehigh Valley regarding Benjamin Schragger, and we wish to convey our sorrow to all those involved. Both as an organization and as individuals we are shocked and horrified by the allegations. We will be cooperating with the authorities in every way, and should the allegations be proven, we will take all appropriate actions available to us under our governing documents.

We are committed to re-examining our policies, strengthening and improving them so that there be will no question about our goal of protecting our children and youth to the fullest extent humanly possible. Such steps are actively under discussion now.

Unfortunately, no set of policies, procedures or protocols can ever protect us completely. These steps will need to be matched by a thorough and constant vigilance, not only for ourselves, but for our society.

As we work to ensure a safe environment for our children, we must remind members of the press that this is still an ongoing investigation, and we do not wish to compromise the efforts of the authorities by making any further responses until that investigation has reached its final conclusion.

The Society For Creative Anachronism, Inc., is an international 501-3c not-for-profit corporation, with the aim of preserving the fine arts, arts martial, and chivalric ideals of the Middle Ages through participatory activity.

The SCA is a volunteer-run organization, divided into groups by region/country/state, then by county, to city and often college campus- based groups. For the flavor of our activities, we use the conceit of calling these respectively Kingdoms, Baronies, Shires/Marches/Cantons/Colleges.

The Society welcomes and encourages family participation, and the active involvement of parents in family events.

For further information, see our website at http://www.sca.org/ .

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Tamara Griggs 513-731-1996
tfirenze@ix.netcom.com

Corporate response re Schragger

It seems a good point to me to remember that no organization nor organizational policies can prevent individuals from wrongdoing. I also think that the BoD is right not to rush into making changes or mandating policies until the investigation and prosecution are complete

Re: Corporate response re Schragger

Perhaps we should, as I have been saying for the last few years in my local Barony, take more proactive measures when approving someone for the office of Minister of Children or Dean of Page School. Such as criminal background checks, asking for and interviewing personal references, and being smart and cautious about leaving children alone with just one adult at any given time. It is our responsibility as a Society to watch out for each other's children, it is the one thing I stand firm on.

media feeding frenzy sighted on the horizon

This will very likely be very bad, if there's a lot of publicity. Cripes. Worse than if the public thought we were a bunch of devil worshippers or something.

I will take a very long wait and see mentality on this, wait for every possible fact to be revealed publically. Especially with MY hobby, the SCA on the line.

Remember- the media publically crucified Richard Ricci over the Elizabeth Smart disappearance. Media are ALL just blood sucking pigs.If it bleeds it leads, no matter who they hose , guilty or not.

Background checks

This case shows the futility of background and reference checks. Ben has no previous record, and could have gotten dozens of glowing references. The real solution is the third one listed--never, ever, allow one adult to be with a child at any time. This protects *both* the child and the adult from situations like this one, where the truth will never be known for sure.

Re: Corporate response re Schragger

Background checks would be a good idea if the SCA was in the child care business but it's not.

If the Society were to implement background checks it would be assumeing an enormous amount of responsibility for something that is , quite frankly, not the Society's problem. Parents should be responsible for their kids -- they shouldn't assume that the SCA is going to do their job for them.

The SCA has long had a policy that its offcers do not provide child care under their official auspices. IMHO, this is a good and prudent policy and it should be continued as it makes it clear that the SCA does not make any guarantees about the fitness of its officers to supervise minor children.

Providing activities for children is one thing; providing child care is another and the Society has no reason whatsoever to provide child care.

With all due respect...

With all due respect, we're not talking about child care. We're talking about a learning and instructional program endorsed by the Society. While it is true that parents are responsible for their kids, the SCA will be held culpable for the actions of it's officers.

For instance, if you send your daughter off to school (which, admittedly, isn't a perfect analogy because we are mandated by law to educate our children) and a teacher sexually abuses her, where does the blame lie? With the institution? With the parents? With the children? No. It lies with the person who committed the acts of abuse.

I was shocked and appalled when I read the allegations against this man. I was sickened to read that he admits doing these things.

What responsibility would we assume in implementing background checks? That of a society providing educational activities for children? There is a cost involved in investigating someone's background. Pass this cost on to the person seeking the office.

However, we must always remember that no amount of checking and investigating can protect our children from the predations of a determined reprobate especially if there is no record previous offenses.

At the very least, we should institute the "buddy rule". At least two adults must be present at all times during activites involving children. One of them must be the parent of a child participant.