Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Protecting Children Is Everyone’s Duty

The Penn State/Jerry Sandusky scandal has rocked not only the college, but the state of Pennsylvania, the rest of our country, and the lives of numerous young boys (now adults). To date there are at least eight victims who claim Sandusky sexually abused them. Considering he founded his Second Mile organization in 1977, has probably been a pedophile all his life, has six adopted children of his own and also fostered numerous other children, I’ll go out on a limb and say there are probably up to a hundred innocent children whose lives have been torn asunder by this monster.

 I’ve read the grand jury report and numerous news stories and what rips my heart apart and boggles my mind is how most of the stories say this will affect Penn State forever. PENN STATE! You’ve got to be kidding me! A sports team? What the hell is wrong with people when they worry MORE about the reputation of a college and its sports team than the physical, mental and emotional well-being of INNOCENT children?

I vividly remember the innocent, tender age of ten. It was the age my parents divorced and I was forced to abruptly let go of my childhood and embrace adulthood. My life of fun, innocence and safety was splintered into a thousand pieces through physical, emotional and psychological abuse and neglect. It took me YEARS of therapy and many more after that of self-help to get on the path I travel today. I can’t even imagine where I’d be had I been sexually abused. The age of ten is sensitive when a child should have adults around him who will love and protect him, not betray, use and abuse him. The scars can be life-long and without the proper tools, he may never recover into an emotionally healthy adult.

 There are people who are siding with Joe Paterno, saying that he did the right thing in reporting the incident, which was reported to him by McQueary. I must disagree. Yes, he reported it; however, he didn’t do enough. Yes, it’s true he heard about the incident second hand, BUT how could he sleep at night thinking that innocent children could possibly be being raped in the showers of HIS campus. The very campus that idolized and placed HIM on a pedestal! He had the power. He could’ve gone to Sandusky himself, or done his own investigating. He could’ve gone to his superiors and demanded answers. He also could’ve demanded that Sandusky not have any access to Penn State, or better yet, none to Second Mile. Paterno had the power, like I said, and was pulling in students, which amounted to funds, and lots of them. When he spoke, people listened. Had he spoken, he could’ve saved innocent children. His legacy wouldn’t be one of a Famous Coach, now shrouded in black, but one of a Famous Coach who protected children!

 If you can't tell, I’m a strong advocate for children. I have absolutely no use for those who place sports, coaches or college stats and games before the welfare of the most vulnerable in our society. I won’t apologize for being a mother lion. I won’t apologize for my convictions and I most certainly won’t apologize for wanting to see justice for the innocent lives which have been destroyed at the hands of not only Sandusky but everyone else who turned a blind-eye for the almighty dollar and reputation for a famous college, its coach and its bank account.

If we as a society can’t protect our youth, who can? That’s what frightens me the most. This isn’t limited to Penn State and Jerry Sandusky and his bogus Second Mile foundation. There are numerous Sandusky’s out there posing as caring mentors while preying on innocent children. It’s up to US to fetter them out and stop them before they damage innocent lives. Children are our responsibility, whether they are from our loins or not. They are our future. We need to step up and do the right thing no matter the consequences. If we can’t do that, we’re doomed.


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