Now this is rich, some AA members are actually showing concern for minors at meetings and wanting to do something about it. Yet they are shot down, because of liability concerns. If they admit there is a problem with minors not being safe at AA meetings, then you are looking at liability concerns. For anyone reading this in AA, let it be known that MANY people are aware of this problem including AA headquarters In New York City. We know you know! There is no way to pretend that you do not know. It is an outrageous statement to come back with. They put it all on the groups themselves. To protect minors in AA should be a priority that includes AA headquarters. Of course anything each group decides to do to protect minors in meetings would be helpful.They can stop inviting minors, not allow mandated minors and stop having youth outreach campaigns to have minors come to adult AA meetings! You need to look at what Alateen does to protect minors.
Here are some of the highlights presented by our Southeast Regional Trustee
The General Service Board received a request to develop a policy on making the rooms safe for young people who are coming to AA. They wanted to be sure minors are being protected. We received all kinds of background material as to why our rooms aren’t safe from predators. The idea was sent to the General Service Board, and the board sent it to a committee. The committee deliberated and said we want the rooms safe for everybody. The question is, is that just in the AA meeting room or is that outside the meeting room’ The Board had a discussion as to what do we do’ The decision was that it was the responsibility of each group. All that we could do as a Board is to say that it is the responsibility of each group. Part of that is because we have no authority to tell groups how they need to function or what they need to do. That’s the groups’ autonomy. The other part is that we may not know what the issues may be in your group or your community. We need to work hard to make sure the rooms are safe.
Question ‘ Would it be reasonable to have a service piece on the safety in the rooms of AA that might open the eyes of the fellowship’
Answer ‘ I am not an attorney but we have had counsel indicate that if you say there may be a problem and you don’t do something about it, and there is a problem, then you may be liable because you have said there may be a problem. The best way of saying it is, if we print anything that says there may be a problem then if there is a problem then we got a problem. We not only struggle with the spiritual responsibilities but the legal responsibilities in providing information. So the board decided to send people out, like me, and you to do something about it. If your Area feels like we need a written piece, then that is where the voice needs to come.