Sunday, November 13, 2011

Legality, Morality, and Penn State

     In the United States of America, there is a fine line between what the law says and what the human heart tells you. In the case of the Penn State Nittany Lions, they are guilty of disobeying both schools of thought in some way or another. This whole situation is absolutely sickening.
     Former Defensive Coordinator Jerry Sandusky was caught in the act of raping a 10 year old boy by Graduate Assistant Matt McQueary in 2002. The next day, McQueary reported this to Head Football Coach Joe Paterno, who followed the chain of command and sent the report up to the Athletic Director, who told the Senior VP, who told the School President. No legal action was taken. Nobody alerted the authorities. In fact, McQueary never even did anything to stop the act as it took place. After the chain of command was followed, Sandusky was ordered to stop bringing children to the football building. Despite that, he was allowed to continue operating a summer camp at a Penn State Satellite Campus from 2002-2008 where he had daily access to young boys. During this time period, at least one known boy was molested. He told his mother a few years later, and they alerted the authorities in 2008, which began the criminal investigation against Sandusky. The neglect shown by the Penn State administration alone should have been enough to put the whole staff in Jail. However, they did follow protocol, so only the upper level admins are in legal trouble.

     From a moral standpoint, this whole situation was just plain wrong. Sandusky is a rapist, and the rest of the school is full of enablers. As an able-bodied man, it was McQueary's responsibility to put a stop to the act he saw in the team showers on that day in 2002. Sandusky's superiors should have immediately alerted the authorities. The students of Penn State support Joe Paterno through thick and thin, but this incident is too explicit to keep any of the people on the staff that knew about it. If there were no other recorded incidents of rape after the initial sighting, maybe the board of trustees would not have had to come down so hard, but the fact that even 1 other boy was harmed, tells me that some serious action had to take place. Yes, the school administration followed protocol, but the thing is, this isn't about grown men. This is not the military. These are kids that cannot protect themselves, and underprivileged kids at that. They needed somebody to protect them, and Penn State did not do that.

     Conspiracy theorists from different groups are already having a field day with this whole scandal. Is it a coincidence this action just so happened to take place days after Joe Pa broke the career wins record for D-1 Football? Would people act the same about the situation if these were 10 year old girls? Why isn't anybody at Penn State concerened with the victims? These questions will never be answered, and the reason nobody acted on their knowledge of Sandusky can never be explained, but one thing we do know is that State College, PA will never be the same.

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