Over the last few days I have been struggling to come to grips with the news that Jerry Sandusky, a long-time coach at Penn State, is being charged with sexually assaulting over ten children. The barbarism mankind shocks me. How can a human being torture a child?
This story has me tied up in all kinds of knots. Growing up in central Pennsylvania, I have always loved Penn State Football and Joe Paterno. Joe Paterno has always been a man of great character and a role model for thousands of young adults at Penn State. Jerry Sandusky’s role in making Penn State “Linebacker U” is legendary. But, after the past week’s revelations, the reputations of Penn State University, Joe Paterno and Jerry Sandusky have regrettably been tarnished.
I need more facts before I jump to judgment on whether Joe Paterno failed to live up to his duty that we all owe to our fellow human beings. The question of whether his actions were legal or illegal are of minor importance to me. The law is a moral floor: humans owe each other so much more than what the law protects.
While I am struggling with my thoughts about Joe Paterno, I acknowledge that, if the allegations are true, we must focus our attention on the children who were hurt. Child abuse and pedophilia are evils that we must protect our children from. I hope that this incident raises awareness of these evils and encourages people to go to the authorities if they have witnessed or heard about any adults committing these atrocities.
-A very sad Penn State fan