When the “Dusky” Settles

Jerry Sandusky and the play Penn State

By Billy bob Bramscher

In 1969, Jerry Sandusky joined the Penn State football Coaching staff.  In 1977, Sandusky founded The Second Mile, a Pennsylvania non-profit charity serving at-risk and underprivileged youth.  In 2001, Sandusky co-authored “Touched:  The Jerry Sandusky Story, “an autobiography that focuses on his claimed passion for helping disadvantaged youth.”

The Freeh Report, the accumulation of months of investigation at a cost of 11.9 million, released today on page 103, “If University leaders had not granted Sandusky full use of Penn State’s football facilities and supported his ways to ‘work with young people through Penn State,’ sexual assaults of several young boys on the Penn State campus might have been prevented.”

“Four of the most powerful people at The Pennsylvania State University – President Graham B. Spanier, Senior Vice President-Finance and Business Gary C. Schulz, Athletic Director Timothy M. Curley and Head Coach Joseph V. Paterno – failed to protect against a child sexual predator harming children for over a decade” reads page fourteen of the Freeh Report.

Ben Tanzer with Prevent Child Abuse America (www.preventchildabuse.org) released a statement today entitled “A total disregard for the safety and welfare of children” adding, “We say enough.  Enough secrecy and shame.  Enough cover-ups.  And enough prioritizing instituational reputations over doing the right things by children.”

The Socialpsychological Phenomenon of “Diffusion of Responsibility” (“Bystander Effect”) is a theory popularized in the story of Kitty Genovese (July 7, 1935 – March 13, 1964).  The Freeh report outlines critical flaws within the Penn State organization condemning the “bystanders” who not only refused to help Sanduskys’ victims, these “bystanders” proactively covered-up Jerry Sandusky’s sexually abusive conduct.

The Freeh report states, “Before May 1998, several staff members and football coaches regularly observed Sandusky showering with young boys…” and on May 5, 1998, Schultz’s notes about the incident state:  “Is this opening of pandora’s box?  Other Children?”  Sandusky paraded his adolescent victims on the Penn State campus even after being warned as early as 1998 by a Detective not to shower with any child.  Sandusky was also given this same warning in 2001 and sometime after 2010.

It is crystal clear that Jerry Sandusky was bluntly informed not to bring “kids”, also referred to as “guests”, into the Lasch Building (PSU’s football locker rooms).  The University, The Second Mile, Campus Police, the District Attorney, and other community leaders adopted the N.I.M.B.Y. (Not-In-My-Back-Yard) approach delivering the message of approval for the malicious sexual abuse of the Sandusky victims as long as the conduct ceased to occur on Campus property.

When will the “Dusky” settle?  Let’s be honest. The systematic abuse of children is deeply rooted in American Culture.  Examples are prevalent through-out our educational systems at all levels, the Catholic Church, our Government, and even Hollywood does not escape investigation.  What is worth more than protecting our Children?  A football program and its revenue health?  Or the health and safety of our children?  It should not take 11.9 million to do what is right…

Penn State released the following statement on the Freeh Report (http://live.psu.edu/story/60346):  “Judge Freeh’s report concludes that certain people at the University who were in a position to protect children or confront the predator failed to do so. There can be no ambiguity about that. The defenseless victims and their families are at the forefront of our thoughts and prayers. We are deeply sorry for the failure to protect these vulnerable young boys from the pain and anguish they suffered. At the same time, we are filled with admiration for the bravery shown by the young men and their families who came forward to ensure that justice will be done.”

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