Tags: Paterno | Penn | State | Scandal

Paterno’s Lame Response to Penn State Scandal

Tuesday, 15 Nov 2011 09:13 AM

By Michael Reagan

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Penn State football coach Joe Paterno released a statement on Wednesday in which he said, "With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more." How lame is that, coach?

Would you have accepted that excuse from one of your players? "With the benefit of hindsight, coach, I wish I had run the route we rehearsed a thousand times in practice." See how stupid that sounds? When there's a report alleging that some monster is raping children in your locker room, you call the police.

Coach, you were told back in 2002 that Jerry Sandusky had anally raped a 10-year-old boy in the Lasch Football Building. You handled the matter quietly with your athletic director, Tim Curley. You took away the alleged rapist's keys and barred him from the facility, but you didn't call the police. You didn't lift a finger to help the victim. No hindsight needed, Coach. You screwed up.

Yes, we all know about your 61-year career at Penn State. But when you ignore reports such as these, you wipe out 61 years of achievement. The Jerry Sandusky scandal is your legacy now.

This scandal has also indelibly stained the reputation of The Second Mile, the charity Jerry Sandusky founded in 1977 as a foster-care program for at-risk kids. Allegedly, the kids were most at risk from Sandusky himself.

The Second Mile was one of George Bush Sr.'s Thousand Points of Light and probably did some good work. But the grand jury alleges that Sandusky met his victims through The Second Mile. So even if the program survives this scandal, it will always be remembered as Jerry Sandusky's private sandbox for recruiting rape victims.

As for Sandusky himself, you have to stand amazed at his gall. He actually had the brass to title his autobiography "Touched: The Jerry Sandusky Story." What is that, the punchline of a sick joke?

I don't want to hear any more "benefit of hindsight" excuses. So let's be clear about what you should do if you hear that a child is being sexually abused. Print this out, post it on your bulletin board, and make sure everyone in your family, company, or organization knows how to respond to child sexual abuse.

1. If you see an act of child abuse in progress, step in and STOP IT. I have to wonder why the grad assistant who witnessed the rape felt he only had to report it to someone. Why didn't he jump in, knock Sandusky on his butt, and protect the child? If you see a child being raped by an adult, please have the guts and good sense to intervene.

2. If a child tells you he or she is being abused, don't panic, don't act shocked. Make sure the child feels supported and protected. Say, "You did the right thing in telling me."

3. Believe the child. Even if the offender is "good old Uncle Charlie," tell the child, "I believe you." It takes courage for kids to speak up because they fear they won't be believed. Kids need to know you're on their side, and they almost never imagine sex acts unless they've experienced them.

4. Tell the child that he or she is not bad. Say, "He knew better; you didn't know. We'll make sure he can't touch you again."

5. Focus on the child's needs. Don't think about the reputation of any individual or organization. The moment you shift your focus off of what's best for the child, you're on the wrong side of the issue.

We as a people need to stop protecting our institutions over our children; whether it is the church, the university, or the institution of the family it is time for us to put our children first not last.

6. Don't confront the offender in front of the child. Keep adult discussions away from the child. Kids need to feel protected. They don't need to be upset, disturbed, and frightened.

7. Report the crime to the police. Law enforcement agencies in your area have trained investigators who will talk with you and the child, and who know exactly how best to handle the situation.

And don't you dare tell me that you don't have the heart to have "good old Uncle Charlie" arrested. If Uncle Charlie is molesting a child, protect that child!

I've heard too many horror stories of people who protected "good old Uncle Charlie" or "good old Coach Sandusky" instead of protecting children. You must have absolute moral clarity: Child molesters belong in jail where they can't hurt children. If you don't call the police, then you are an accomplice and no better than a molester yourself.

8. If the molester is a member of the clergy, DO NOT report the abuse to church officials. If the molester is a coach or teacher, DO NOT report the abuse to the school authorities. Some churches and organizations worry more about lawsuits and bad publicity than about kids. Just call the police.

9. Don't call Child Protective Services — investigating crimes is not the function of CPS. If the police determine that CPS should be involved, they will make that decision.

Don't let the predator talk you out of calling the police. Most predators are amazingly persuasive — that's how they entice their victims, and that's how they get people to cover for them instead of reporting them. Don't be taken in by a charming predator.

10. After you call the police, call the ChildHelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4ACHILD (1-800-422-4453). The ChildHelp counselor will listen to your concerns, answer your questions, and direct you to local support services for the child.

Finally, don't you ever use the "benefit of hindsight" excuse! I've armed you with the foresight to do the right thing to protect a child, and that child is counting on you.

Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan. He is a political consultant, the founder and chairman of The Reagan Group, and president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Visit the Michael Reagan Center at Arrow Child & Family ministries at http://www.arrow.org/mrc/Overview.html. Portions of this column are adapted from his book "Twice Adopted."







© Creators Syndicate Inc.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Arkansas Voters Should Oust Sen. Pryor

Friday, 29 Aug 2014 13:11 PM

Pryor is one of the endangered Democrats up for re-election this year. His vote for Obamacare and support for the admini . . .

Celebrities Sign Letter of Support for Israel

Tuesday, 26 Aug 2014 14:02 PM

Two hundred Hollywood stars and celebrities signed an open letter of support for Israel and at the same time criticized  . . .

Pelosi's District Exempt From Water Rationing

Friday, 22 Aug 2014 10:44 AM

It’s axiomatic that leftist leadership is always in favor of sacrificing for the environment if someone else is doing th . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved