Father sues Boy Scouts after son with Down syndrome loses badges

March 21, 2018

A Utah father is suing the Boy Scouts of America and the Utah National Parks Council after his son, who has Down syndrome, wasn’t allowed to complete his Eagle Project.

Logan Blythe, who is 15, had been participating in Boy Scouts for several years, when his Eagle Project was suddenly suspended, according to his father’s Salt Lake City-based attorney Edward McBride.

Last November, the Blythe family received an email from the district advancement committee telling Logan to stop working on his project, because previously agreed to modifications would not be accepted. The boy’s badges were also taken away, McBride said. Those with a physical or mental disability are eligible for Eagle Scout Rank Merit Badges only if they’ve been approved through a formal application. Badges can only be awarded when “all requirements are met,” according to the Boy Scouts’ website.

“This is the very definition of discrimination,” Logan’s father, Chad Blythe said in a video statement posted to YouTube.

Chad filed a suit March 13 asking for $1 and for Logan to be reinstated in the Boy Scouts.

“We are hopeful that this suit raises public awareness of his treatment so that others similarly situated don’t face the same shame and disappointment that this has caused Logan and his family,” McBride said.

Down syndrome presents differently in each individual, according to the National Down Syndrome Society, which means delays and limitations differ between people.

“Logan should be allowed to do what he can to the best of his ability to qualify for a given merit badge due to his mental disabilities,” Chad said.

The Boy Scouts did not immediately provide a comment.