The other day I wondered about PA Governor Tom Corbett’s involvement with Penn State and the mess up at Happy Valley. I wasn’t trying to suggest that our Governor was in any way part of the problem! I was worried about him knowing information and I was worried about his apparent inability to act on it!
Today I want to make it clear that there are a lot of people who are probably very good and decent people that are going to have their names bandied about and their relationships strained by what is going on with Sandusky. It is wrong to assume that everyone who was a friend of the man, or who was a family member, or who worked with him, or was connected to him through the Second Mile Club is guilty by association. That is wrong!
I trust that the Grand Jury has enough evidence to bring this to trial. If Sandusky is guilty then I hope that the penalty fits the crime. But as to the other people who are being tarnished here, I think we need to reassess what the legal responsibilities are for people to notify the proper authorities when something like this occurs. What punishment do we want to mete out to people who decide it isn’t worth calling out a friend or coworker?
Also, I wonder if Joe Paterno knew about DA Ray Gricar’s conclusion that there wasn’t enough evidence to bring a case against Sandusky? In hindsight it seems outrageous that these crimes could have possibly happened, but back in 2002 it might have been clear that there was nothing that the law could or would do.
I know it’s hard to let the system grind on. I know our legal system seems terribly slow sometimes. But we don’t have any other options! We must be fair and we must think ahead. Our best outcome would be stronger laws in PA that protect innocents from abuse but that offer a firm structure so that they don’t harm healthy emotional and physical relationships between children and their mentors.
We can do it! We just have to think about it! I know it’s hard and I know it riles up a part of us that feels raw. But no matter how upsetting it is we have to fix this.