Unless you're just not paying attention, you've heard about the scandal with former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky. He is charged with numerous counts of sexual assault of children. If you haven't had a chance to read the grand jury indictment, you should. BUT. Please heed this warning: it is graphic. It will make you sick to your stomach. I had to skim over some parts, but it explains everything that he is charged. And the extensive lengths that the university went to in order to cover-up the scandal.
As a teacher, I am a mandated reporter. This means that I am required by law to report any instances of suspected child abuse or neglect. The proper chain of command for me is to inform the guidance counselors or principal of my school. After that, I am not involved anymore. I'm not even allowed to inquire about the investigation. If I feel that my principal and guidance counselor are not following up thoroughly enough, I am able to go directly to the police.
My assumption is that Coach Paterno is under the same requirements as I am. I'm sure that he thought his superiors were going to do their job, but when they didn't, he should have done more. In his resignation statement today, he said "with the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more". I wish he had too. For his own heart and mind. But mostly so more children would have been saved from such pain. I think I have learned something from Paterno- that it's always my job to do more than what the law requires. That is a low hurdle that is set to give guidelines. Doing more is always best.
My friend Amy and I were talking about it, and she said something incredibly important- at the end of the day, it is STILL Jerry Sandusky that is the monster here. He is the one that hurt those boys. He is the one that used charity to disguise his evil. He is the one that manipulated his peers to believe the best of him when he was committing a heinous act against innocent children. I know that God promises that "in no way shall the guily go free" and when it comes to Sandusky, this gives me great peace.
Paterno did announce his resignation today. He'll finish the season, and then he'll be done. He is a good man who has made an incredible impact on the game of college football and numerous student athletes. His legacy is great. It is sad that it will be tainted with the scandal of Jerry Sandusky.