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Penn State’s Dirty Hands

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Penn State Scandal

What would you do if someone grabbed your cash filled wallet and took off running? What if it was your brand new smart phone that got snatched right out of your hand? Would you stay quiet because you were embarrassed or would you react? Most likely, you’d start yelling and make a scene. You might even rally enough courage up to go kick the crap out of that person and defend your stuff. Would you call the police or let them go with a warning? It’s amazing what we will do to protect things that are valuable to us.

Now imagine walking in on someone being sexually inappropriate with a random child. I ask again, would you stay quiet or would you react? Would you call the police or let them go? What if it was your child?

From the high ranking officials all the way to the janitors at Penn State, responsibility was passed around like a hot potato. No one wanted to get their hands dirty. I wonder if the reactions to the abuse would have been the same if the victims were the men’s sons or grandchildren. Would they have waited until the following day to tell their superiors? Would they have still allowed Coach Sandusky to keep his job? How creepy, yet appropriate for his published book to be titled “Touched: The Jerry Sandusky Story.”

Sandusky may be the only one legally guilty of the abuse, but every single person who had any knowledge of the situation, and didn’t call the police, is morally guilty. Their silence aided him in every single subsequent act of rape and abuse that occurred after they knew what was happening.
A span of 13 years, a possible 10 victims later, all trampled down “The Second Mile”, his organization meant to help underprivileged children. Why? Because no one wanted to cause problems for someone they respected. People didn’t want to get involved. Do kids not deserve the same reaction most of us would give to our stolen wallets? If you know that a child is being sexually abused and you don’t call the police, you are giving your permission for abuse to continue. Period.

I hope that this awful situation will cause people to take moral inventory on themselves. We all have a responsibility to do what is right in every situation.

“Success without honor is an unseasoned dish; it will satisfy your hunger, but it won’t taste good.” -Joe Paterno

One Comment

Michael J. Rosen, CFRE

November 16, 2011

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Kathy, thank you for your blog post. The more we all write and talk about child sex abuse, in general, and Penn State, specifically, the more we do to prevent this terrible crime. Sex abuse requires an environment of secrecy. Therefore, the more light we shed, the better. For those interested in reading more about the Penn State situation, they can read my blog at http://wp.me/p1h0KY-aQ; once there, readers will find several useful links including a copy of the grand jury report, links to organizations fighting child sex abuse, and links to other articles that shed more light on the issues involved.

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