Friday, July 13, 2012

It's like throwing an atom bomb...

So, I've been quietly, for the most part, following the Sandusky stuff since November of last year when the story broke for obvious reasons.  I've discussed some points with some friends, but in reality have just listened, watched, and read the information that's been out there.  Not surprisingly, the Freeh report was unbelievably damning, and am pleasantly surprised at the responsibility Penn State is now taking, albeit they really have no option otherwise.  The attachments included in the report are - if nothing else - shockingly devoid of any concern for the victims.  I've read the report, and while dry, it is eye opening on how callous Paterno and his underlings (and I say underlings b/c we all know Paterno was the shot caller now - check out the link above) truly were.

My point for this long overdue entry is this...  people don't realize how damaging child abuse is.  I told a friend this the other day, and totally stand by it today - when someone sexually molests a child, it's like throwing an atom bomb at that child.  Not only is that child's life forever destroyed from what it was going to be (hence the bomb reference), but every person that child will now ever come into contact with will also have their life affected.  It will affect their parents, their friends, their relationships, their teachers/bosses, their coworkers, the professionals that treat the victims, and on and on.  The destruction doesn't stop with just the victim.  I don't think people really understand that part, because (thankfully so) they have not had to experience it first hand. 

However, I think it's starting to sink in on how truly destructive it can be.  Former Penn State linebacker LaVar Arrington (and someone I now greatly admire for his candor and honesty) wrote from the heart in an op ed piece he wrote for the Washington Post after he realized, in his own words, that he was the bait for Sandusky's victims.  (you can read it here, or here).  This kind of honest, upfront thinking is needed by not just Penn State officials, but by people everywhere.  Nike stepped up too, not waiting for public opinion to dictate it's course.  They removed the name of Joe Paterno from their child care center in Oregon the same day the Freeh report was released.  I might go buy some wrist bands in support (since your shoes are too narrow for my feet). 

Do I think Penn State should take down the JoePa statue -- yes.  Do I think they should fire any and all people remotely involved with this scandal -- yes.  Zero tolerance is the only course to take on this issue.  And if any positive can be drawn from this unbelievable horrific tale -- I hope it is this -- that no person, thing, or ideal is more important than the innocence of a child.  By not holding that line, the destruction for that child, and all who know that child, will be nuclear.

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