For immediate release: Monday evening, Feb. 17, 2014
Statement by Barbara Dorris of SNAP of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314-862-7688, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)
Already there's talk of Penn State's new president wanting or helping to “heal” the university. That's misguided.
Job one is preventing future cover ups and helping prosecutors convict the ousted school staffers who face upcoming criminal trials for their role in enabling or hiding jerry Sandusky's crimes.
Eric Barron has a simple choice. He can do nothing, and assume that justice will be done. Or he can act responsibly and use school resources and his bully pulpit to beg anyone else with information or suspicions about the crimes of Spaner, Schultz and Curley to call law enforcement immediately. (If Spaner, Schultz and Curley skate on some technicality, Barron's hopes for healing will experience a severe setback.)
After that, Barron's second job is healing those hurt by the actions and inactions of Jerry Sandusky, Graham Spaner and other now-former university staffers. Their pain – which is no doubt on-going, despite Sandkusy's conviction and civil settlements – should still be high on the university head's priority list.
Those who were directly, physically and emotionally hurt as kids take precedence over those who were indirectly upset as adults by this horrific scandal.
Then, and only then, should Barron focus on “healing” the university.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 25 years and have more than 15,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)