To the Students of Penn State:
Something is really wrong here.
ƒWhile I did not attend a university with a football team, I respect that football is what makes your school tick, and that Mr. Paterno’s exceptional skills are necessary for the team’s success. You have every right to be angry that he will no longer be guiding your team to victory, or that your team may no longer have victory. But why aren’t you angrier about the fact that, under his watch, Mr. Sandusky was able to continue his actions of sexual assault?
I’m not blaming Mr. Paterno for Mr. Sandusky’s behavior. Mr. Sandusky is obviously a sick man who needs intense rehabilitation, jail time, and should not be allowed near children. But your anger is misdirected and you have shown the world that students at Penn State value a football team’s success more than the livelihood and safety of children in your community.
You have a right to be outraged. Your tuition was going to pay someone who had a pattern of sexual abuse and a slew of administrators who neglected to do anything about it to stop him. If that happened where I went to school, I’d, too, be pissed.
But why don’t you see the bigger picture? This isn’t about football. It’s about the fact that Mr. Paterno knew Mr. Sandusky was a danger to society, and only did the bare minimum to stop him. Mr. Paterno should have broken down the doors of the university president’s office and the police until someone put Mr. Sandusky behind bars. The board of the university recognizes this, and took measures to preserve the legacy and standing of the university. Why don’t you?
According to the New York Times, students were quoted as being embarrassed by this mess, but not embarrassed by the compliance with assault. “’It’s not fair…The board is an embarrassment to our school and a disservice to the student population,”’ one student said.
Interesting analysis, Future-Penn-State-Graduate-and –Leader-of-America (hopefully not). I always thought that a “disservice to the student population” might be more like allowing someone who assaults children to roam campus and host camps for kids on university grounds.
Penn State: I know, or have to believe to be able to sleep at night, that your entire student body doesn’t think this way, but, rather, this is just the image that is being conveyed on airwaves across the world. However, I have spent my entire life advocating the fact that our generation, today’s young people (ie you) are “the generation the world has been waiting for.”
Your actions last night, exhibiting your backwards values, show that the world can stand to wait longer for you. Your misdirected anger and your failure to show compassion for those whose lives were ruined from Mr. Sadunksy’s actions are a sure-sign that sexual assault will continue in our society until people like you care more about the safety and livelihood of women and children than success at a football game.
PS: The Onion, as always, says it best.
Photo Credit: The National Post
This piece originally appeared at Curls in the Capital, and is cross-posted with permission.