(CBS Local) — The family of a Boy Scout with Down Syndrome is suing after the organization stripped their 15-year-old son of all his badges.
Logan Blythe of Payson, Utah has been working on his merit badges for nearly four years and was preparing to rise to the highest rank of the Boy Scouts, an Eagle Scout. According to The Salt Lake Tribune, the teen submitted his badges to the Utah National Parks Council on Nov. 9 so the local Boy Scouts charter could review the 15-year-old’s work.
Blythe’s father told reporters that despite his son’s limited verbal skills and developmental delays the local chapter assured the family that Logan would be given the opportunity to progress just like a normal child. “All those [badges], he just literally did the best he could, and our local leaders accepted it and were happy with it,” Chad Blythe said.
The following day, the Boy Scouts of America told the boy that he would not only be denied the status of Eagle Scout but also had all of his badges revoked. The teen’s father says the Boy Scouts claim Logan “didn’t follow the merit badge requirements exactly as written to earn the badges.”
“The Eagle Scout Award is a national award. Final decisions regarding the Eagle requirements are made at the National BSA level,” the Utah National Parks Council said, via Yahoo Lifestyle. A representative for the national organization also addressed the controversial decision, saying that becoming an Eagle Scout is “only one aspect of the program.”
The BSA spokesperson added that children with disabilities are “welcome and empowered to participate” even if they are not able to earn merit badges from the group.
“The Boy Scouts have lost their way,” Blythe family attorney Ted McBride said. Logan’s parents are now suing the Boy Scouts for “outrageous and reckless conduct and disregard of the emotional well-being of Logan.” McBride accused the Scouts of acting to “protect” the perceived prestige of the Eagle Scout rank by discriminating against his disabled client.