I’m sure you’ve heard about the troubling allegations coming out of Penn State. That Jerry Sandusky, an assistant coach, allegedly* sexually assaulted several children over the years- in Penn State properties. It was reported to college officials, and nothing was done to report the crime to police.
Joe Paterno, Penn State’s revered coach was involved (in that he reported it to someone at the college, not the police, almost a decade ago and nothing was done). He stated he’d retire at the end of the season, but was rightfully fired by the school.
Yes, rightfully. It doesn’t matter what a good coach you are on the football field- what sort of human being are you if you don’t go above and beyond for the children that had been harmed and those who might be harmed?
Weirdly, Penn State fans rioted at the campus. That’s right. They were upset that Paterno was fired, saying he deserved more. So did those children.
I can see that he had a long career, and it’s a shame that this might be what he’s remember for. It doesn’t mean that he shouldn’t be held responsible for essentially assuming that something was being done, even though it took years for Sandusky to be barred from the campus. We’re all accountable for what we do and don’t do. Even people who were probably about to retire.
As an odd coda to this story, last night Ashton Kutcher tweeted his outrage at Paterno being fired. Saying that Penn State had no class. Considering that Kutcher now fights against child exploitation, it seemed odd. By his own explanation, he hadn’t really been watching the news (I’m not sure how he hadn’t heard about the Sandusky case) so when he saw Paterno was fired scroll on ESPN he assumed it was for football and tweeted immediately. When he came back to his feed, it was to a bunch of angry replies, then he realized his mistake and tried to apologize.
Having read his first apology, I admit it didn’t make much sense- I thought he was trying to imply his feed was hacked. He’ll be using a service to tweet for him, instead of the logical thing- pulling up a news site or news aggregator to see what the deal is before saying something stupid. But then, I’ve never really been a fan of Kutcher- on the web or off.
But back to the main point- if you suspect that a child is being molested, it’s your duty as a human being to make sure that the police find out. If we all did more than just the bare minimum when it comes to helping others, the world would be a much better place.
*Yes, allegedly. Here in this country it’s alleged until someone’s convicted.
Day 10 of NaBloPoMo