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Moral Responsibility...and Leadership

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#1 hamluis



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Posted 09 November 2011 - 10:56 AM

I'll begin by saying that I don't normally visit this forum...I usually don't have anything to say that would fit my interpretation of the topics which are posted here.

Today, I decided to do a quick scan of the things that some feel are worthy of examination and expression of opinions. To my surprise, I didn't see one topic which relates to what I consider to be a crucial "scandal" or national embarassment.

I refer to the fact that homosexual rape of youngsters at Penn State...was witnessed and, allegedly, reported to designated "leaders" in the school administrative chain of authority...years ago...and nothing was done by those "leaders." No criminal report to the authorities, which certainly would have been required in the rape of a female...no disciplinary action internally for those "leaders" who failed to exercise what some of us call "a moral responsibility" to prevent such from happening...or if that takes more courage than we can muster...at least report it to criminal authorities. That's what rape...of anyone...is...a criminal offense.

The really sad thing that I see about all this...is that "leaders" failed to be "leaders"...and that seems to be the approach that these "leaders" intend to continue.

IMO, this reflects badly on anyone connected with Penn State in an administrative manner...who knew that such acts took place...and never even bothered...to do the right thing. The right thing...is to file criminal charges...against the perpetrator or offendant...and take steps to see to it that circumstances don't encourage this sort of criminal behavior.

Penn State...failed...a very crucial test...and the lack of "leadership" which such exhibits...should not be forgotten by anyone who has a child or younger brother.

And it makes me wonder...if male rape of minors is construed by school officials to be unworthy of reporting...what else might go on at Penn State which falls into the same or lesser categories...of human behavior?

And...if such things occur at Penn State, a well-renknowned university until this point....then does that mean that Penn State's "leadership" is a mirror image of the collegiate environment which exists throughout the United States?

My last question is a personal, rhetorical question...I do not want to see a lot of empty verbiage posted here about this question, just answer it for yourself, within yourself...if your son or your brother or your friend's son...had been raped by some "coach" and there was no responsible behavior by a school administration which knew of such event...how would you feel?

No feedback necessary, please...just something to think about which is more important/real (IMO) than some of the other topics thrown around in this forum for rhetorical debate. I don't want rhetoric, just a little thought within yourself.

Thanks for letting me intrude in your world :).


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#2 Ted Striker

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Posted 09 November 2011 - 11:42 AM

Rape is a very serious offense which should result in severe sentencing. Rape against a minor is even worse. Those who fail to report or cover up these crimes should also be sent to jail. There's no excuse for not reporting these crimes.

I wonder if the people who knew these things were going on felt that they had to remain silent in order to maintain their institutions good reputation. The Vatican is guilty of doing the same thing. Roman Catholic priests have been raping boys for years and instead of reporting these rapists/pedophiles, the Vatican has instead shuffled the priests around to other churches and they've used their war chest to hire top law firms to defend their own interests.

In both cases, no one cared about the victims. It's unconscionable and heartless.

Edited by Ted Striker, 09 November 2011 - 11:42 AM.

#3 LauraJBJD


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Posted 11 November 2011 - 08:48 PM

First -- the acts, if proven, were heinous.

Second -- nothing has been proven. People have testified in secret, without being subject to cross-examination. More information will come out, whether at trial or by plea.

Third -- rape of children is a crime, whether it is "homosexual" or "heterosexual." A 10-year-old girl having been raped is equally victimized, wronged, and deserving of protection as a 10-year-old boy. Throwing "homosexual" in there is a red herring.

Fourth -- I find myself thinking about the grad assistant, over and over again. I've read a lot of posts on message boards saying, "If I had seen that, I would have beaten his brains in, any real man would have, blah, blah" -- that's ridiculous. Until you are in a shocking situation, you have no idea how you will respond, and freezing is one common reaction. The fact that he froze and left tells me his eyes were telling him something his brain knew couldn't be true. That's why he called his father (who was a long-time acquaintance of the defendant, apparently) -- it...couldn't...be...true. I don't blame him for walking away; it's a response to the belief the world has slipped and you have fallen sideways through a crack in the universe. I don't blame him for calling his father, I don't blame him for making his initial contact Coach Paterno. At some point, though, you do have to do something more. Yes, he came out of his shock and reported it; yes, he gave (according to his grand jury testimony) a full account of what he had seen to 2 senior university administrators; but to hear that the university's only response to his information was to tell the guy he couldn't bring more children on campus? What, you can keep raping them, just not on campus?

That's where I find myself shaking my head. I understand chain of command, I understand following the rules and regulations, I understand letting the process take its course, but at some point anyone would think that what the grad assistant testified he had seen (e.g., a crime) isn't satisfactorily addressed by saying "We won't let it happen on campus any more." I think the grad assistant should have gone to the police when he heard the result of the "investigation" failed to address the crime he had witnessed.

--And yes, I also understand that one of the administrators he had spoken to was the director of university police, and the grad assistant might thus have thought he was speaking to the police when he spoke with him about what he'd seen. I just can't understand being satisfied with the outcome of that meeting: whether it meant going to a different law enforcement agency (whether or not they had jurisdiction, their eyes would certainly have popped open when he told them what he'd seen, and a more vigorous response would probably have ensued from Penn State), going to the defendant himself, going back to the coach, going to the press (anonymously, if he desired)...... I simply think that at some point the shock of what you've seen is no longer an excuse for failing to act. You've seen a crime against a defenseless child. You don't have any reason to believe the university's response will prevent further crimes, likely also against defenseless children.

As Cris Carter would say, "C'mon, man."

And I don't even want to talk about the others in the chain of command.

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