Mom suing over Girl Scouts expulsion

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GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga.,None —

A Gwinnett County mother is suing the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta after her daughters were kicked out of their Gwinnett County troop.  She said the expulsion came without any warning.

“I would love to go back, because I would love to be with my friends again,” said one of Angela Johnson’s daughters.

Johnson’s 10-year-old twin sisters had been in the Girl Scouts for four years before they were kicked out. Johnson received an email this spring that said the girls seemed unenthusiastic and disinterested, and “if the girls would like to continue [with the Girl Scouts] we can work to find another troop that would better fit their interests and wants.”

“To me that was a code word for you’re not welcome here,” Johnson told Channel 2’s Eric Philips.

She said she was never given a specific example of why her girls were abruptly dismissed.

“There was nothing that warranted this. Nothing,” Johnson said.

She said the only explanation they can think of is a family heritage presentation the girls made shortly before their mother got the expulsion email.  The presentation covered the family’s historical involvement in the civil rights movement.

“They didn’t know we were going to say all that stuff,” said Johnson’s daughter.

When she didn’t get any answers, Johnson filed a lawsuit claiming intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligence.

“That reference is not controversial. It’s not divisive and certainly it should not form a basis for expulsion in the Girl Scouts,” said Johnson’s attorney, Carlton Rouse.

A statement from the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta said in part, “We believe this is a disagreement between two well-intentioned moms, including Mrs. Johnson and are anxious to resolve the matter.”

“I’m stuck with two girls who are wondering what’s wrong with them now,” Johnson said.

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Girl Scout officials said they’ve offered Johnson and her daughters three options:  return to their previous troop, transfer to a different one or start a new troop. Johnson said unless the troop leaders are removed from the previous troop, returning is not an option.  She’s not sure she wants her daughters involved in Girl Scouts at all.