PA - SNAP blasts candlelight vigil for Joe Paterno as “sad and frustrating”

Next Tuesday's candlelight vigil for Joe Paterno is a tragedy. Honoring Joe Paterno - a man who failed to act in any way to protect kids from a serial predator on his staff - will do nothing but bring more pain to child sex abuse victims, both those in central Pennsylvania and elsewhere.

Those harmed by Jerry Sandusky will of course be most directly hurt, having to endure again the words and images of blindly loyal Penn State football fans who put their own feelings about a game above the feelings of deeply wounded crime victims who were severely and needlessly violated as children.

Those harmed by other predators will also be hurt, having to be reminded again that many adults overlook and minimize the wrongdoing of officials who ignore, conceal or enable child sex crimes.

“Nothing is more precious than a child,” we tell ourselves and others. Yet when children are injured by employees of institutions we hold dear, we overlook those injuries and rally around those institutions.

It’s sad and frustrating and painful to watch well-intentioned but misguided adults taking action to remember a now-disgraced sports icon instead of taking action to protect the vulnerable, heal the wounded and expose the truth.

Honoring Joe Paterno in this way – recognizing wins that have been stripped by the NCAA and campaigning for a memorial walkway – his backers show no regard for those who were victimized by Jerry Sandusky under Paterno’s watch. This is a pathetic attempt to forget the heinous crimes that occurred at Penn State and remember only meaningless football games. It is, at best, disturbing and at worst disgusting. We hope that the organizers of this event will think better of their hurtful actions and honor their disgraced coach - if they must - in private, not public.


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Showing 3 comments

  • Scott Kimler
    commented 2013-01-16 16:01:59 -0600

    Trying to bait me with the emotional statement that “[I’d] be singing another tune if it were my child” is preposterous.

    First of all, you don’t know me, so cannot presume to know what I would say had my boy been the one hugged in 1998.

    Second, there’s not much more I could have done than what the mother of the boy did: notify the authorities (both police and Child Services). An investigation resulted (sting conducted with the mother & Sandusky). The result? No charges were laid. It was determined that a crime had not been committed.

    I fail to see any logic in the notion that the coach of the football team then – somehow – had an obligation to supersede these authorities (assuming he even knew of this investigation, which he likely did not).

    The comment “Half hardheartedly reporting to a foot ball loving school cop” is clearly biased and ill-informed.

    While many view “school cop” as “one step above mall cop”, I can assure you that at Penn State, this is not the case. By State Statue, the University Park Police Department is afforded the exact same roles & responsibilities as the State College Police Department. In fact, if a crime occurs on campus and is reported to the “Local Police Department”, the caller would be referred back to the University Police Department, because the campus is not their jurisdiction.

    While it is easy to assume that “Joe blew it” and choose football over the welfare of children, the facts are contrary to this notion. In addition, if you had known Joe personally or followed his 6-decade career, you would more likely realize the absurdity of that statement.

    I understand that Sandusky’s crimes bring out a visceral reaction in folks, one cannot simply ignore facts. You clearly do not know the facts. I would suggest you learn the facts prior to forming an opinion.

    Additionally, I find it naive to blame the one guy who DID report it, without questioning how it was that those that were closer to Sandusky, those working side-by-side with Sandusky at his charity (where he groomed his victims), those who allowed Sandusky to adopt a number of children, the professionals at Child Services and police investigators didn’t know or do anything.

    Anyway … yes, child abuse is horrible and we ALL feel for the victims. On that, I think, we can agree.

  • Paul Livingston
    commented 2013-01-16 13:58:54 -0600

    is supposed to know? And what if he DID know that Sandusky was investigated for inappropriately hugging a boy in 1998 (and exonerated) … he’s supposed to leap to the conclusion that “uh oh … he’s hugged a boy … must be a child sex predator?”

    Come on Scott,
    If it were your kid would it have been OK for Sandusky to hug him or her? Pre 1999.
    Joe had a due diligence to get to the bottom of accusations made at his staff. Half hardheartedly reporting to a foot ball loving school cop or Tim Curly another school employee.
    Common sense would to be to report to the Local Police Department. I guess Joe must have thought!{ since the school did nothing than it must have been ok to continue for Sandusly to rape kids and Joe to let it go}
    Joe blew it and you know it Scott. Scott you would be singing another tune if it were your child!!!!
  • Scott Kimler
    commented 2013-01-16 11:50:04 -0600
    Paterno "a man who failed to act in any way to protect kids from a serial predator on his staff " – wow

    Firstly, there is the presumption on the writer’s part that when Sandusky was employed as an assistant coach at Penn State (pre-1999) that Paterno knew he was molesting children. What? Sandusky’s wife didn’t know, Child Youth Services didn’t know, people at Sandusky’s charity The Second Mile didn’t know … but somehow … Paterno is supposed to know? And what if he DID know that Sandusky was investigated for inappropriately hugging a boy in 1998 (and exonerated) … he’s supposed to leap to the conclusion that “uh oh … he’s hugged a boy … must be a child sex predator?”

    Give me a break.

    And … For what it’s worth, when Paterno did hear from Mike McQueary about (something) going on in the showers, in 2002 (or was it 2001?) … Paterno DID act in a way to protect kids … he IMMEDIATELY notified his superior (Tim Curley – AD of Penn State) AND the head of the University Park Police department (Gary Schultz).

    Ever wonder if Paterno did do the right thing?

    Regardless, he did more than anyone else, which is pretty amazing, because his job was to coach football. There are other people that are paid and trained to do more – and didn’t – and other people that were a lot closer to Sandusky – and did nothing.

    I believe the author really needs to understand more about what happened, before making accusations that haven’t been proven

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