Yes, this was a tragic accident, but that is exactly what it was, an accident.
If the family thinks a lawsuit will bring them inner peace they will be sadly
It sounds like the leader was very negligent to me. One of the rules for any
youth activity is that there are at least TWO adults present at all times.
I'm also fairly certain that any boating trip requires life jackets.
Dropping a youth off 50 yards from shore is just plain reckless!When
I was a scout leader for my ward, we had to undergo training covering these
sorts of things. I don't know if the church is responsible, but I think
there's a case against the leader.
Rifleman,I guess not everyone is living at the lofty spiritual plane
on which you reside.My condolences to this family for their loss. It
is unfortunate that those acting in official leadership positions in the Church
do not take their callings as seriously as they ought.
Re: I M LDS 2 Provo, UT"It is unfortunate that those acting in
official leadership positions in the Church do not take their callings as
seriously as they ought."Your screen name would indicate that
you have at least a passing knowledge of the LDS Church. You would therefore
understand that service is on a voluntary basis, and that it takes some minimal
amount of effort to give up a week's vacation with your family to spend
with the youth.Before I decided to criticize this youth leader I
suppose I might ask myself about my own personal commitment. It takes so little
effort to criticize others, especially if I am doing little or nothing
myself.How about just a touch of compassion for a man who lives with
the knowledge that a young man in his charge died?
How is this in federal court? Aren't the Joneses and Sorenson from St.
George? Didn't the accident happen in Utah? Where is the LDS Church, if
not Utah?Of course, Chad Bowers is a Las Vegas attorney. Were the
Joneses Nevada residents? If so, why were they participating in a St. George
This is a tragedy and an accident. Fifty yards is 150 feet from shore. Should
the leader have gone closer to shore. Of course. Should there have been two
Adults present. Yes, and if not the entire trip should have been cancelled.
This case will be settled outside of court in favor of the parents. Adult
leaders will receive further enlightenment that on ALL youth activities that two
adult males will be present. This was done in error. The adult leader errored
grievously resulting in the loss of life. Regardless, he is hurting much more
than any law suit will ever do. Will he be released from his calling. Quite
possibly. This doesn't appear to be a scouting activity but just a youth
activity. Either way two adults should have been present along with at least
one member of the bishopric. I'm sure this will be corrected. My
condolences to the families involved.
The facts in this article are very one-sided. I have heard reports from people
who were there that he made it to shore, and that he was not dropped off 50
yards from the shore. Don't believe everything you read.
@ The Dixie Kid: If he made it to shore, how did he drown? Are you suggesting
that after he swan to shore he swam back out again? And if he did, why
didn't anyone see him go back out again and why wasn't there a leader
there to make sure he was safe? The fact that the report is that the people in
the boat saw him make it to shore does not make it better. Anyone who knows
anything about water safety knows you do not ever leave one person on their own
in the water. At the very least, another youth should have been with him.
Preferably, the boat should have been by him.@ Rifleman: The family
is asking for $75,000. In the world of lawsuits, that is pocket change. The
point is not the money (if it were the lawsuit would be for at least a million),
they are suing to protect other children in the future.This is a
tragic event because it could have (and should have) been prevented. Church
activities should be the one place you can send your children and trust that
they will be returned safely to you.
I must say that I am frankly skittish of sending my own kids on any kind of
outing into the mountains or on a body of water. But I also think that if
something did happen to one of them on an outing, it would only make it worse
for me and my wife to become bitter and try to make it worse for the youth
leader with a suit--or to get some money out of it. How much better would it be
to simply forgive to allow yourself the chance to heal as well as you possibly
Read the article. This article reports that the official Park Report filed
after the accident states that the boy made it to shore. He went missing
later.It seems to me that the claims made in the law suit do not
match what was in the official Park report.
Sadly, this type of accident does not surprise me. A few years ago the youth in
our ward were taken to a resort area (not UT) for a ski/sledding trip. Several
leaders and youth went. One night we got a call from our son around 9 pm that
he had hurt his arm (sledding) and, according to him, had not received any
treatment--not pain reliever, ice or anything. He claimed he brought it to a
leader's attention and they looked at it but did nothing else. Long story
short, he had a fracture. The day after he returned we were horrified when a
member of the Stk High Council (member of our ward) spoke in Sacrament meeting
about the "fun" trip. He told a story of going up with another leader
to the top of a double-black diamond ski run, visibility poor, and hearing two
voices calling out his name and finding our son and another kid (both
inexperienced skiers, 12 yrs old) at the top of the mountain. I was shocked 1)
at the lack of supervision 2)that the leader himself didn't recognize the
danger/liability in the situation.
Nice to see the speculation on both sides, as it will take a court case to get
the facts out. No wonder our legal system is in shambles.
Even if Tory Jones made it to shore, what guidelines/precautions suggest it is
okay for a leader to leave one group of kids alone, on shore, while he goes
somewhere else? There should always be at least 2 leaders, minimum.
Were there any other adults present? The article really doesn't
give us many details. One question I have, is if the church had a planned
activity scheduled but it didn't take place was it cancelled for some
reason? Was Mr. Sorenson just taking the youth out on his own because the other
activity fell through? I feel deeply sorry for Tory Jone's
family and friends.I don't know Mr. Sorenson so this isn't
about him, but it has been my observation that sometimes the adult
"supervisors" have the same maturity level of those they are supposed to
If there had not been TWO ADULTS present at ALL parts of the activity, it should
NEVER HAVE TAKEN PLACE, PERIOD!! NO EXCUSES, NO EXCEPTIONS!!! Rules such as
these are in place for the safety of both youth and leaders alike. Having
served in leadership myself once upon a time, those rules help ensure the
enjoyment and creation of happy memories. If there is anything good to come
from this, it is to ensure that better training is provided to leaders before
placing them in active service in their callings...this is ESPECIALLY SO if they
are working with youth or children!!!
This is truly a sad situation and I feel despair for the families in their
tragedy. I suspect that as is the case many times, the court will be fed lies
from one side or the other or both, and someone will be asked to figure out what
MIGHT be the truth and consequences will come accordingly. Often times the
Church settles court cases to spare the families unnecessary pain that their own
attorneys care nothing about. Follow the $$$, and an attorney will be standing
close by, imho. Imagine a justice system where attorneys and judges, consistent
with the oath they take, will not present a case or argument built on lies.
Yes the leader should have had another adult. But try and ask a parent to step
up and help most times is like pulling teeth. Also most kids you can tell them
the rules and you turn around and they are doing what you just asked them not to
do. Especailly certain types; don't like to be told what to do, learning
disabilities, etc and kids doing stupid things. Had a boy once tell me he had
done a swim check for scout camp. Well because of water temperature the camp
wanted everyone to jump in and tread water for a minute. Everyone but him did it
and when I tried to get him to do it he admitted he could not swim. So maybe a
parent of one of these boys should be asking themselves why didn't I step
up and help especailly if help was wanted.
I hope the family receives the proper compensation for their loss.
@ Cinci Man: And how, exactly, do you determine who is lying and who is not?
The purpose of the Court is to determine which side is supported by the
preponderance of the evidence. Just because more evidence supports one side
than it does the other, does not mean either side is lying - it may just mean
that the two sides have different perspectives and opinions.It is a
well-documented fact that eye-witness testimony is fallible. It is a
well-documented fact that different people remember different parts of the same
events.The only way to know who has the preponderance of the
evidence - especially in a case like this - is to have an impartial party - aka
the Court - examine the evidence and reach a conclusion.And yes,
there is an attorney involved. But to complain about that is similar to
complaining about a plumber being involved in the installation of the water and
waste pipes in your home. There is a reason professionals are involved - it is
because they know how to do things properly and make sure you don't end up
with the wrong thing in wrong spot.
Re: Kalindra Salt Lake City, UtahNo one can truly appreciate the
efforts of volunteers who work with youth unless they have walked in their
shoes. Yes, sometimes mistakes are made. One commenter above stated that 'it is unfortunate that those acting in official leadership positions in
the Church do not take their callings as seriously as they ought". It is
unfortunate that the Man upstairs has to depend on humans to do His work.Meantime those who accept calls to serve and come up short will always
be targets of those who have an axe to grind.
The mistake here is blaming the LDS Church. True, the church does call leaders,
but those leader are not obligated to accept callings, and when the calling
involves scouting, the person called has to fill out scouting forms and be
approved by the BSA. The lawsuit should name the Boy Scouts of America, and not
the LDS Church, because the LDS Church's policy is that all outings
involving young men are scouting activities and not church activities. As
a former scout master myself, I can't tell you how many trainings I had on
that particular issue. If the adult failed to follow scouting protocol in this
case, then neither the Church, or the BSA, has any obligation to that family,
since in order to be properly certified as a scout leader, the man in charge had
to pass off many online trainings through the BSA. . . The LDS church
doesn't offer training other than through the BSA, and the LDS church will
only call leaders that can be certified through the BSA, and has a standing
policy that those leaders must be certified within 4 weeks of accepting the
KalindraYou ask how one knows when lies are being presented in court. You
are correct that sometimes it is perspective, not clear cut truth versus lies.
I am not referring to those situations at all. But I can say that I have been
involved in at least a dozen court cases personally, and in EVERY one of those
cases, I seen attorneys lie over and over, sometimes on both sides. And I have
been on juries where the judge has instructed that a defendant has the right to
have representation of anything truthful or absolute lie in order to achieve a
'fair' trial for the defendant who may be either innocent or guilty.
The oath taken by attorneys and judges can be found on the internet. This is an
example. "To employ, for the purpose of maintaining the causes confided to
him or her those means only as are consistent with truth, and never to seek to
mislead the judge or any judicial officer by an artifice or false statement of
fact or law." How can any court officer lie and keep their oath. Go to
court and you'll see that what I say is true.
Kalindra."The purpose of the Court is to determine which side is
supported by the preponderance of the evidence." Where did you
find this? America's court system was designed to get to the truth, not to
see who can tell the most persuasive story. Have you heard the oath each
witness takes before testimony? It sounds like you would rather the oath go
something like, "Do you swear to try to make your testimony fit your
side's story as best you can?" LOLI assume that O.J.
Simpson is innocent in your eyes because his attorney was the most persuasive
and convinced jurors with his 'evidence'. In the eyes of the law he
is innocent because of the persuasion of his attorneys, but I will always
maintain that there were plenty of lies on both sides and Judge Ito allowed and
promoted the lies. Simpson was either truly innocent or is not. The law may or
may not have established that. If attorneys were compelled to the truth, as
their oath states, then this would have been a quite different court case, imho,
even though the outcome may have been the same.
Is anyone else here struck by the wisdom and sensibility of always having
"two adults" present for the benefit and safety of kids? Why in the world doesn't that sensibility extend to single mothers in
Why didn't this boy's own father make the effort to go along on this
trip? It is a customary and common occurrence for fathers to go along and offer
a helping hand.Those who are least inclined to help are always first
in line to criticize those who take an active part.
So fine have it your way.....ban all church activities for the youth and take
your own kid boating....
Bad judgment:1. Any water activities should never be unsupervised. 2. Fifty yard swim in cold water without a life jacket is risky.
A bear eats your child while camping, sue the Forest Service for not posting a
sign.Lightening strikes boys scouts, sue the BSA.Youth
drowns on LDS activity, sue the LDS Church.Man spills coffee on
self, sues McDonalds.What is going on?
It is impossible for leaders to control every little thing that each child under
their care does. Impossible. We always did stupid things when we were up
scouting. We could have easliy been injured, or killed. We snuck out at night
and went on night hikes, got lost. Took off in a canoe at bear lake and got
stuck in the middle of the lake in a summer super cell storm that capsized us
and we had to swim back. The leaders do their best, they have the best interest
of the kids in mind, but can only do so much. If you don't want your kids
to risk being hurt or killed then take them out of scouts. Danger is inherant in
the activities they do. I am truly sorry for the tragic loss of the kid. Lawsuit
is frivilous, however.
having served as Young Men's President in my ward and also being part of
the Scouting program for years it is ALWAYS a good idea for dad's to go
along on the outings with their sons. Leaving your son's well being in the
hands of others is always a risk in spite of how well meaning the leaders are.
Many times there are only a couple of leaders trying to keep track of 3-4 times
as many boy and it is so much better to have an even percentage of adults vs
boys - especially if the activity involves out door high adventure. It sounds
like this particular case was just bad judgement and even carelessness on the
part of the leader and the boy but that is why having a dad along is a great
double check for safety.
I'm reading a whole lot of animated conclusions with a jumble of data
posing as facts. The complaint says one thing, the accident report another. Why
is everyone so exercised before they discover the truth? I'd
add one other inconvenient question: Did the parents drop the young man off at
the activity or have someone pick him up, and, did they ask questions about # of
chaperons? Every time one of my children went on some activity with other young
people there had to be at least 2 chaperon's for me to let them go. I knew
them by name. I held my son back from one activity because there was only one
adult present and they were awaiting the 2nd. I said, "fine, he can go when
that person comes. Let me know."As to a settlement, I guarantee
the LDS Church will bend over backwards to properly settle this with the
parents, even if the parents don't have a leg to stand on. At the same time
it will be used as an instructional model for other volunteers.And
please do remember and have compassion on the volunteers. This severely affects
them as well.
These kinds of lawsuits make my husband and I think twice before wanting to do
any volunteering for youth groups. On the other hand, if it was my child that
died, I think it would take all of the strength I could muster and some Heavenly
help to forgive and not be bitter.