Basenjis a truly a great breed. I hate to see you giving up. I have to preface this by saying I too have kids (2 and 4) and believe they come first, but Franc doesn't sound like a threat with some correction. Are you sure about this being a mistake? How is Franc other than his issue with a crate? We have 3 Basenjis. I've been dealing with this issue for for a while and have received some great advice. Crate issues can be addressed.
Our long time companion of 13 years HATED her crate. We got her at 1 1/2 and she wasn't use to being in a crate. She also exhibited signs of separation anxiety. After several months of working with the crate she became self destructive hurting herself and we put the crate away. I confined her to a bedroom when gone. After that she was fine – very happy, rarely got into anything. I too was worried about electrical cords so I spray them with Bitter Apple -- dogs hate that stuff. She was a very responsible Basenji and was never in a crate after. By age 4, her and our then 2 year old male, had full house access. I'm not suggesting you go there yet, BUT wanted to let you know there is hope if the crate doesn't work.
In fact, we got a 9 month old 2 months ago who also HATES his crate. At first he would scream, scratch, and poop in his crate. We tried an open mesh wire type and he managed to hurt himself trying to get out -- back to the plastic shell type. A month after switching back, he seems to be getting better. Here are some tips I've learned:
Make the crate a happy place by feeding him and giving him special treats in his crate. I've been give mine a pig ear or dried chicken in his crate when I leave -- and ONLY in his crate can he have those. I also place something with my scent in with him (old shirt I wore first or it could be a towel you slept on the night before, etc). I also turn on the TV or stereo to drown out neighborhood noises.
Just as important as the crate environment is getting him in and out. His may not be something your 12 year old is ready for. If your son has to fight him to get him in the crate that is creating a bad situation. You may want to call your vet to get professional advice. There is a lot of information online as well. Dogs will always win a physical fight if they want but you can always win a physiological battle. Franc needs to respect your son and not challenge him. You need to remove ANY negative association with the crate. Your son could be becoming a negative association! You may want to have your son walk him, feed him, etc, but take the crating out of his tasks. Franc needs to learn your son is the leader and it sounds like he doesn't understand that yet. However, If he must crate him, make sure your son isn't fighting to put him in his crate. Try to get Franc to go to his crate on his own without force by using treats. You can start by tossing treats in there and not closing the door just to get him to go in at his own will (obviously without you leaving). Then try it by closing the door, but come back AS SOON AS he's done (before he starts to whine). Then extend that. Hopefully you can get him to go in without using force.
Make your departure/return totally UNEVENTFUL. Put Franc in his crate quickly and walk away. When you return, do the same -- get him out and get him outside. DO NOT get him excited when you take him out (this is pretty hard to do at our house with a 4 year old!). Getting him excited teaches him being out of the crate is a good thing.
If possible walk Franc before crating -- an exhausted tired Basenji won't put up such a fuss, but one who wants to run and play will for sure! Definitely make sure he does his business prior.
Try using a DAP spray or plug-in. Comfort Zone makes a plug-in which I've been using (most large pet stores cary it). It calms dogs down. It's not cheap, but the company rep said they'd buy it back if it didn't work after 30 days. One of our dogs will fall asleep if near it! There is even a DAP collar you can get from your vet. The collar is supposed to be even more effective -- that was our next step if ours didn't start to accept his crate.
And just as important as anything you do, NEVER EVER EVER use the crate as discipline -- remember its a HAPPY PLACE! HAPPY HAPPY JOY JOY.
You may even try leaving Franc out for 10-15 minutes and see what he does. Many people have told me they found there's to be very responsible. We found that was the case with ours -- we just now have 2 males in the house that can't be trusted alone.
Really, I think there is hope if you want to try to make Franc work and you do seem to care about him. Again, these are just tips I've learned over the years (ad A LOT over the last 2 months) -- anyone correct me if you disagree!! Hope that helps.