A major child abuse scandal broke this week at Penn State University that has students and parents reeling. As former Nittany Lions football coordinator Jerry Sandusky is released on bail, two more of the college’s officials will be arraigned today for covering up his alleged abuse of several boys in their early teens.
One would hope that when you send your kids to college you can at least feel safe that they are going to a good place with responsible adults who will look out for the best interests of children of all ages, but that may not be so in this case.
Penn State’s football team’s former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky has been indicted for inappropriate touching and rape of eight boys over a 15-year period. Sandusky met the boys involved through a charity he founded for at-risk youth called The Second Mile.
Some of the assaults reportedly took place on campus in a Penn State athletics building. When an eyewitness reported one such incident to Nittany Lions head coach Joe Paterno, Paterno immediately took the information to the school’s athletic director Tim Curley and senior vice president for business and finance, Gary Schultz. Both Curley and Schultz failed to contact police or any other authorities after receiving the eyewitness report, and when they were questioned by a grand jury investigating Sandusky, their testimonies were “not deemed credible,” says FOX News.
Were Curley and Schultz protecting the beloved Penn State football team’s reputation from being tarnished? Did they feel it would be better for the school not to report a young boy being assaulted in a shower?
I have to wonder why Joe Paterno didn’t call the police himself, nor did any of the other people who saw questionable things happening between Sandusky and these young boys. They just reported up the chain of command at Penn State. USA Today reports the scandal, “puts a spotlight on Paterno, 84, who had Sandusky on his staff for 32 seasons. It’s unclear how much Paterno might have known or suspected and if there were any action he could have taken.”
I shudder when I think about the fact that my son is just eight years away from going to college. He hasn’t hit the teenage years yet, which I hear are awful enough that it makes it easy to send your kids away. He’s still an adorable, loving ten-year-old, and the thought of him leaving breaks my mama heart. I hope wherever he goes there are more responsible adults than some of the leaders at Penn State University.