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Boy Scout With Down Syndrome Wins Legal Battle To Keep His Badges

Chad Blythe / The Salt Lake Tribune

For years, Logan Blythe worked his way through the ranks of the Boy Scouts of America.

He earned 22 badges through his local troop, and was preparing to qualify for the organization's most prestigious rank: the Eagle Scout.

Becoming an Eagle Scout is a lifelong commitment, and it involves a special community project.

Boy Scout Logan Blythe.
Chad Blythe

Logan's project - to make kits for parents of newborns with disabilities - had already been approved when the dedicated scout got bad news.

Not only would Logan not be allowed to start his project, he would also be stripped of his badges and demoted back to the Cub Scouts.

What went wrong?

Despite spending years earning his badges, the national organization decided Logan had to lose them because he did not follow their rules to the letter.

Logan's father, Chad, says his son is low-functioning, meaning he needs someone to assist him with many simple tasks.

So Logan relied on help from friends, community members and scout leaders to earn his badges.

"[Boy Scouts of America] has more than 100 merit badges that can be earned. Those with proven disabilities can substitute one badge for another," Chad wrote on Facebook.

"Sadly there is no one merit badge that Logan can complete the requirements for."

Even in a cooking challenge, "Logan would have to be able to measure out flour on his own. He would pour it out but not stop," Chad explains.

But Logan's father was willing to take the scouts to court to get his son's badges back.

Taking the scouts to court

Chad says his son was heartbroken by the organization's decision.

"His face was just dejected. He doesn't like talking about it, hearing about it, or seeing us upset about it."

Boy Scout Logan Blythe
Chad Blythe

He says Logan depended on the social activity to "expand and grow," but after the decision he lost interest in scouting.

"He doesn't even want to touch his scout uniform," Chad said at the time.

To fight for his son, Chad took the Boy Scouts of America to court with a lawsuit for just $1.

It wasn't about the money, but instead for his son's chance to fairly participate in scouting.

"My son is hurt. Again we were expecting this to be a non-issue," Chad said, "to be able to go ahead and thrilled to have our Down Syndrome son to be an Eagle Scout."

Change of Heart

Chad said he was especially upset by the organization's decision because they have been so welcoming to girls and transgender children.

He wanted his son to have the same chance to participate, regardless of his disability.

And this week Logan finally got the good news he had been waiting for, as the Boy Scouts completely reversed their decision.

"Logan now has a path to the Eagle Scout rank"

Logan's family say they have dropped their lawsuit against the scouts, because the organization has agreed to help Logan.

Chad and Logan were even invited to a personal meeting with the group's National Commissioner, who says he wants to "see Logan succeed."

Logan Blythe
Chad Blythe

Logan will be allowed to keep all 22 of his badges, and will get a special path to the Eagle Scout rank.

The Boy Scouts say their disagreement with Logan was just a misunderstanding, and they hope to avoid cases like it in the future.

In fact, they say they are "inspired by Logan and his family's commitment to scouting."

"This is the most beautiful Carpool Karaoke"

The news about Logan is especially welcome in a society that doesn't always appreciate people with disabilities.

Recently, a group of parents of children with Down syndrome raised awareness for the condition with a special "Carpool Karaoke."

In the video, "50 Mums, 50 Kids, 1 Extra Chromosome," the families sing along to Christina Perri's "A Thousand Years."

They also perform the song in Makaton, a special variety of sign language for people with Down syndrome.

Congratulations to Logan for getting his badges back!

[H/T: Fox News, Salt Lake Tribune, People]

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