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Logan Blythe, Teen With Down Syndrome, Back on Track to Obtain His Eagle Scout Rank

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The Blythe family dropped their lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America on Wednesday, following discussions with the BSA and a plan to help Logan Blythe, a 15-year-old with Down syndrome and autism, reach Eagle Scout rank. The Blythe family filed the suit earlier in March, after being told Logan’s alternative merit badges would not be recognized and his Eagle Scout proposal denied.

Two weeks after filing the suit and Logan’s story going viral, the Blythe family, accompanied by their attorney, Ted McBride, met with Charles Dahlquist, the National Commissioner for the BSA.

Chad Blythe, Logan’s dad, told The Mighty that Dahlquist took extensive notes during the meeting and was willing to listen to the family’s concerns and suggestions, “He is already making some changes on their site,” he said.

As part of these changes, people can now request alternative requirements for merit and alternative merit badges based on a child’s abilities. Logan’s merit badges, which were previously voided, have now been recognized by the BSA. The organization is also honoring the initial approval of his Eagle Project proposal, which Logan may continue to work on during the summer.

The BSA also said it is willing to develop a specially tailored program for Logan and will update and clarify its policies and procedures so that kids with disabilities can benefit from the organization.

Chad said he is glad the BSA is taking steps in the right direction to include scouts of all abilities. “This was never about getting money from the BSA,” he said. “This was about making a point.”

McBride said the complaint was voluntarily withdrawn and there was no settlement. The goal was to get the BSA to recognize Logan’s merit badges and create a path to Eagle Scout rank as well as set a precedent for other Scouts with intellectual disabilities so that they have the same opportunities as other Boy Scouts. “Once we heard them, we felt there was no more need to pursue legal action,” McBride said, adding, “I firmly believe Logan’s case has improved the quality of the Boy Scouts of America.”

The Boy Scouts of America told The Mighty:

We are inspired by Logan and his family’s commitment to Scouting, and we are so glad he will remain a part of our Scouting community.

We appreciate the care taken by the family’s attorney to bring the best outcome for Logan and look forward to working with the family toward our shared goal of ensuring Logan can receive his Eagle Scout rank in a way that is empowering for him.

Moving forward, we are committed to avoiding this type of misunderstanding and will take appropriate steps to ensure it is known that Scouts with disabilities are welcome, celebrated and empowered through Scouting.

Chad said many people reached out to the Blythe family in support, some even offering their Eagle Scout award to Logan. “We cannot thank people enough for their kindness and willingness to support our family,” he said.

When asked about Logan’s future plans, Chad said right now Logan is focused on the Special Olympics. “If we can get past this and get him to focus on something else, we are going to do so.”

Originally published: April 5, 2018
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