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Penn State Scandal: What Would You Do?

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In the wake of the firing of Penn State head coach Joe Paterno and university president Graham Spainer over how the school handled sex abuse allegations against Jerry Sandusky, many are asking if it is fair for Coach Paterno’s legacy to end the way it did.  It would be seem that there was no other choice… of course he should be fired for not stepping up to the plate and doing more when he was told of the awful abuse that was witnessed by a grad assistant.  So why are so many college students now protesting his firing? Do they not fully comprehend the implication of brushing off what was a detailed account of a serious crime committed on the Penn State campus?  Others are so upset with the fact that the witness to the crime did not pull the boy out of the shower.   I can’t even imagine how scared Mike McQueary was when he witnessed the rape.  He ran out of the locker room, called his dad, and his dad just told him to leave immediately and he told Joe Paterno the next day.  I can’t speak for him, but he was probably stunned and was in complete panic mode.

Of course it’s really easy for us to say without a doubt he should have stepped in or called the cops immediately.  So why didn’t he?  Was he afraid he’d lose his job? Was he afraid to be the one to report the wrongdoings of someone so prominent at the university?  Whatever the case, he just reported it to Joe Paterno and did not follow up with the cops when he saw nothing was getting done besides the fact that Jerry Sandusky was told he could not bring children to the campus anymore.  He was then promoted to assistant coach.   Many people dropped the ball because apparently they were more concerned with football and the school’s reputation than the safety of a child, or in this case, many children.

At the end of the day, I’m sure the proper actions will now be taken, as we’ve seen by tonight’s decisions, but it’s ten years after the fact.  How many of you would let this happen if you were the witness?  What if you did not see the crime first hand? How far would you go to put your job and reputation on the line? I would like to think that everyone would definitely report the crime, but sadly, I think many would still think about the repercussions it would have on them personally.  What has happened at Penn State is a despicable crime and I only hope that the good that can come out of this is that people will think twice about keeping something to themselves for fear of the implications it may have on them.  As you can see, it will all come out in the end, so as the saying goes with the transit system, if you see something, say something.

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