Sad times for Penn State - Grand Jury Report

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Major, Nov 8, 2011.

  1. sue35

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    Nov 10, 2011

    From what I heard the Athletic Director is still employed, just on administrative leave. Don't know why they wouldn't fire him also, given that he is actually charged with a crime.
     
  2. sue35

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    Oh and they haven't fired the grad student/asst. coach who actually saw it. I hope these firings will be happening soon
     
  3. Cerek

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    I'm honestly a little more lenient towards Mike McQuery (the grad student/assistant coach), only because he was fairly new to his position and did report the incident immediately to Paterno. Given Paterno's status and tenure, it would have been reasonable to assume HE would take the report to the next level...and beyond....if necessary.

    It's a lot easier to understand why a grad student/assistant who was new to the staff would think he had fulfilled his obligation by reporting the incident to Paterno, who he would naturally assume would take care of the incident from there.

    It is a lot harder to excuse Paterno for just reporting the incident to his superiors and letting it go at that. Paterno had the power to move heaven and Earth in Happy Valley, so he definitely had the power, authority and status to make sure the incident was investigated properly. After all, the university President had tried to make Joe retire a few years ago and Joe just flatly refused. There aren't many college coaches that have the clout to the tell the Univ. President "No, I don't think I'll let you retire me this year." With that kind of leverage and status, there is certainly no valid explanation Joe can give for not following up on the investigation to make sure it ran it's proper course, because his superiors certainly didn't have the clout to threaten his job.

    Paterno tried to do the same thing this time, by announcing his retirement at the end of the year. He said "I'm making this as easy as possible. The Board of Trustees doesn't need to spend a second considering my status." Well, obviously the Board of Trustees didn't agree with that and Paterno found out his legendary status did NOT make him invulnerable anymore.
     
  4. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    Nov 10, 2011

    The allegations were sent to the state attorney general's office when a mom went to a high school principal to report that the volunteer coach (Sandusky) had done inappropriate things to her son. The principal did the right thing and contacted authorities. The DA knew this was volatile and he would be taking down a local hero so he punted it to the attorney general. That is precisely what is supposed to happen. At that time, more allegations surfaced and a grand jury was given the task to determine if there was enough evidence to press charges. Paterno testified honestly about who he reported the offense to. 2 other PSU officials lied and are now accused of perjury. Spanier (the President) is still under investigation. I agree the PSU had to clean house.
     
  5. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    Nov 10, 2011

    This is a sad story..... It should be about the innocent boys..... but much of it is about Mr. Paterno and other high ranking members at Penn State. So from another forum I participate in:

    "When you need "a Law" to tell you what to do in that situation your morals are already ****ed up!"

    I think too much attention has been given to Paterno and other high ranking people at PSU.......... and NOT enough to the VICTIMS......

    Am I wrong in my thinking........ let me know.......
     
  6. silverspoon65

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    Nope - This doesn't happen often, Major, but I totally agree with you. That's a great quote.

    I am tired of the PennStaters complaining that no one understand what it's like to be a part of a university like that and they are grieving, too. Get over yourselves. I mean, THAT is what you are upset about?
     
  7. JustMe

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    I think it "makes sense" that so many of us are talking about the coach because we know him and many think very fondly of him. What "attention" can we really pay the victims beyond expressing how heartbroken and angry we are for what they endured? Do we really want the media digging as much as they can and invading the victims' privacy? Hanging out in their front yards? I understand the need to clarify who the real victims are, but I don't find the coverage of Paterno's situation ot be grossly insulting or irresponsible.
     
  8. sue35

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    At first I felt like you did about McQuery but then I thought about it some more. He saw a child being raped. He could hear the "slapping" sounds. He did nothing. He just left. What if that child saw him? What if that child was praying that someone would come and help him and saw a grown up just walk away? Yes, he reported it to the right people, but he walked away from a child being raped. To me, that is unforgivable. My goodness, pull the fire alarm, scream, do SOMETHING to make it stop.
     
  9. sue35

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    I don't want to sound like I think McQuery is the monster in this situation, because I don't at all. I can see why he did what he did. But I think they need to get rid of everyone involved in the situation and he was involved.
     
  10. Cerek

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    I've tried to put myself in the shoes of those involved, but especially McQuery and Paterno.

    I tried thinking back to my college days and what my reaction would have been if I had walked in on a scene like that. I think I would have been so shocked by the sight, I might very well have walked out too, not knowing if I really saw what I thought I did. Chances are, I would have called my parents as well to ask them what I should do about the situation.

    Keep in mind I didn't take any teaching classes during my undergrad years, so the idea of being a mandated reporter probably wouldn't even have occurred to me. I would LIKE to think I would have said "Hey, what the HELL do you think you're doing?" to Sandusky, but if I'm completely honest, I can't be positive I would have done that.

    As for Paterno, I tried to imagine my reaction if someone came to me and said "I just saw your best buddy - you know, the guy you've been friends with for 15 years or more - in the shower sexually assaulting a 10-yr old."

    Once again, my first reaction would be absolute shock. I know this guy....and we've been friends for more than a decade. Surely, the kid must not have seen what he thought he did. However, I CAN say that, in this instance, my next reaction would be to confront my friend face-to-face and say "I want to know if what I heard is true or not. Look me in the eye and tell me the truth." Even if he swore it was a lie, I would tell him I'm still obligated to report the alleged incident to our superiors and the authorities so they can conduct an investigation. Hopefully, the investigation will prove my friends' innocence. But if it doesn't, then he will have to face the consequences of his actions and take whatever punishment the courts deem necessary.
     
  11. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Nov 11, 2011

  12. silverspoon65

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    Borrowing from another editorial I read, I am as sure as I am that the sun will rise tomorrow that if I walked in on this happening, I would stop it. I am not a violent person, and I am not a physically strong person. I know you can't say for certain what you would do in these situations, but I am pretty certain this would have ended with him stopping and me holding that little boy and getting him to the hospital and with his family, or with him hiding my body under the 50 yard line. There is no way it would end with me walking out of the room. He absolutely needs to be fired the same way Paterno and Spanier were.
     
  13. Cerek

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    Nov 11, 2011

    That is what I would do now, as an older, wiser and more experienced professional. Twenty-five years ago, though, when I was grad student age? I can't say for certain what my reaction would have been, but I can see the possibility of having the same reaction (then) as McQuery did.
     
  14. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Nov 11, 2011

    But 25 years ago were you in the same position of power and responsibility that these individuals were at the time of the incidents? I knew as a first year teacher that I was a mandated reporter...and I have called DYFS based on a student's discussion of being beaten at home...
     
  15. JustMe

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    Kutcher explains he did not know about the allegations. I believe that, too, because the Tweet certainly read as though he thought Paterno had been fired mid-season for football reasons. Don't see how this makes him an idiot. This is why being a celebrity would suck.
     
  16. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    He has a MILLION twitter followers who presumably think he has something important to say...with that platform, one should check his facts.
     
  17. JustMe

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    Nov 11, 2011

    We see that situation very differently.
     
  18. Cerek

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    I think Ashton Kutcher would agree with czacza now. After making a knee-jerk tweet before checking any facts, he found out loud and clear from his followers how important it is to get the facts FIRST.

    He took a lot of lashback for his comments because he had somehow managed to NOT see any of the coverage regarding the scandal.

    We constantly stress on this forum that one should get all the facts before posting judgments on an issue, but we only represent a few dozen active members. When one is a celebrity with hundreds of thousands of people reading everything you say, it is even more important to make sure you actually know what you are talking about BEFORE making any comments.

    Ashton has now decided to turn over the responsibility of tweeting to his publicity firm. That's understandable, in one sense, but sorta defeats the whole excitement of twitter when ordinary folks were able (presumably) to communicate directly with the celebrities they like...or at least follow what their favorite celebs have to say. Now, it won't be an example of what Ashton has to say. Instead, his tweets will be nothing more than carefully constructed publicity statements.
     
  19. JustMe

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    It's not that I don't think someone should attempt to understand a situation before posting about it, but that he made a simple mistake that doesn't make him an idiot. He made a simple mistake that doesn't require he turn his Twitter account over to someone else to manage. A simple, "Oh, wow, I hadn't heard about the Sandusky scandal...I take back what I said earlier," should have been sufficient.
     
  20. Major

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    Nov 11, 2011

    Mike McQueary will not coach during the game this weekend. (Well duh!!) He's now on paid administrative leave.

    He was a 28 year old man when he witnessed a 10 year old boy being molested by Sandusky. Why he didn't do something at that time to boot Sandusky out of the showers, out of the building ....... then take the young boy to the police is beyond me. He should be held accountable for his inactions. Telling his Daddy that day and telling Paterno the NEXT day just doesn't get it ....

    Wonder if he will mention this in his resume for his next coaching job interview? Probably not. :2cents:
     
  21. Speechy

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    Nov 11, 2011

    It's life. Things happen. I don't think dragging Paterno's name in the mud and bring up an incident that happened over nine years ago is going to do any good, especially to the victims of the crime. I don't see the justice. All I see, so far, is blame and finger pointing.

    I can't judge the situation anymore because I don't know all of the details or evidence, and no one may ever know. But as I've seen so far it is just he-said-she-said.

    The media is able to tarnish anyone's reputation so easily. It is a shame- for everyone involved.
     
  22. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I don't think this is a situation where the media blew something up out of proportion. This isn't one or two people making outlandish claims. Little kids got raped. Many people witnessed the rapes and assaults. Several of those people reported what they saw to higher-ups (which is something but not enough, in my opinion). There is even emerging evidence that Sandusky pimped out some of the victims.

    This isn't "life", or at least not any life that I care to be a part of. Paterno dragged his own name through the mud by not performing his moral obligation to the victim(s) he knew about, the ones he didn't, and the one who became victims after he failed to do what he should have done in the first place.
     
  23. Speechy

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    If "many people" witnessed these accounts, then why is a majority, if not all, of the heat on Paterno? I see more hatred and blame casted at him then the person that is responsible for the rapes.

    Paterno reported it to the person he was supposed to, who he was obligated to. He is being shunned because he didn't take the voluntary extra step, which was to report it to the authorities.

    I'm not a fan of Paterno, nor have I heard much about him prior to this. I'm just looking at the case and a lot isn't adding up, and a lot of details have not been released, at least not to my knowledge.

    However, I can't believe that all of this can be pinned on him. This seems more of an moral issue. From what I have gathered, he broke no rules.
     
  24. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    A lot of the heat is on Paterno because 1) he is beloved and 2) he is the most famous person involved in this entire situation. He is not the only one who has suffered as a result of this scandal.

    The president of the university was fired.
    The assistant coach, who was the grad student who witnessed one of the rapes, was placed on paid administrative leave pending further investigation.
    Not to mention the many children who were allegedly raped and assaulted....

    Sandusky can't be fired or placed on leave because he had already retired. I'm sure that there will be plenty more attention focused his way as his trial nears. For now, I think people are so focused on Paterno because they're shocked that someone with such a great reputation could do something so heartless as not report a child rape when it was reported to him. I think people feel more betrayed by him because he was in a position to initiate an investigation and didn't, despite his impeccable character and good judgment.

    Legal or illegal, moral or immoral, ethical or unethical, who doesn't report a suspected child rape to the people who can investigate it thoroughly?
     
  25. Speechy

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    Because some people, despite their reputation or standing, only wish to do the bare minimum.

    Paterno did the bare minimum. He did what he was required to do, nothing else.

    Had he reported it to police, like a lot of people would have done, that would have been going the extra mile. Not required or mandatory, but it would have the right and ethical thing to do.
     
  26. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Nov 11, 2011

    Sometimes the bare minimum just isn't good enough.
     
  27. Speechy

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    Nov 11, 2011

    Very true.
     
  28. silverspoon65

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    And this is exactly why he isn't facing any legal charges. But the university is totally within their right to fire someone who they believe was acting unethically.
     
  29. Speechy

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    Or more so, fire him to save their own asses. I'm sure they had the press and media breathing down their neck and that's why they did it.

    So yes, they were "within their right" but more than likely for the wrong reasons.
     
  30. Cerek

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    Not for the wrong reasons. Penn State has established a reputation of having very high integrity and moral standards in addition to an emphasis on academic performance. Joe Paterno has played a very large part in establishing that image because he has always championed those standards and, until now, appeared to live by those same, high standards.

    To the best of my knowledge, President Spanier claims he wasn't told the specifics or severity of the incident. It's possible he received only the vaguest of details about what happened, but the Board decided he should be relieved of his position as well.

    I haven't seen anyone here (or anywhere else) expressing hatred towards Paterno, or even anger. Rather, it has been more disappointment that he did not take that extra step after spending most of his professional career building a reputation as a man that would do just that. He has always stressed the highest moral values for himself, his staff and his players....but when told about an improper interaction (he claims McQuery never said Sadusky was raping the boy, but the action was more like "fondling") of a friend and staff member, Joe chose to do the bare minimum required.

    That is not the reputation he had worked so hard to build, which is why there is so much disappointment knowing that is all that occurred. Everyone expected better of Paterno and had good reason to do so.

    As for the university "doing it for the wrong reasons", they have concluded - correctly - that the ONLY way to truly remove this stain from their reputation is to get rid of everyone involved - from the top down - and that is what they are doing. I think that will include Mike McQuery as well, since he is the only one involved in the incident that has not been fired yet.
     
  31. Speechy

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    I would just find it very hard to be disappointed in anyone without knowing all of the reasons, or his reasons for the actions he chose to take.

    And I have heard and seen the blame being thrown at Paterno more than anyone else in this situation. Maybe that is what is bothering me the most. And there seems to be a lot of hatred toward him, maybe not here, but go to any news story or message board on the topic and there is finger pointing. That, or supporting him entirely.

    As for his reputation, sometimes what you project to others is not what you are. Or, maybe he doesn't feel as though he's done anything wrong.

    That's what is hard about ethical/moral issues. It's all a matter of opinion.
     
  32. Speechy

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    I don't know about that. Have you ever been to Penn State? It's a great place, but like every school in the nation, it is run on politics. I could tell you several stories that would make your skin crawl.

    The academic part you have correct. As for the standards, well, not in my eyes.
     
  33. Cerek

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    Paterno has said (now) that he wishes he had done more.

    As for hatred and blame, maybe newscasts and message boards are different up there, but none of the newscasts I've seen have expressed anger or hatred towards Paterno and the only blame that has been cast is blame for not doing more than the minimum required. He certainly had the clout to make sure the investigation was conducted thoroughly, but he didn't. He is, or was, in a position of immense power and had used that position many times in the past for other causes, so people are very disappointed he didn't use it for this one as well.

    Other than that, I've not seen any blame or fingers pointed his way. We all agree he did what he should have, initially, but we all also agree he should have done more when it became clear the university was going to cover this up rather than holding Sandusky fully accountable for his actions.

    As another member pointed out, the media has focused much of it's attention on Paterno because he is the most well-known personality involved in the scandal. If this happened at a college without a nationally prominent sport program or coach, then the story would have run for maybe 2-3 days, then be reduced to a couple of minutes coverage of any new announcements or developments during the regular news broadcasts. But the fame of Paterno and Penn State is what made this story big.
     
  34. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    Everyone agrees that one man committed heinous acts on young boys. Everyone agrees they loved Joe Paterno. But the contradiction of the reputation of the man and the choice he made regarding the reporting of this crime are the cause of the shock and disappointment. We all occassionally make bad choices - but some bad choices cost you the peace of the rest of your life. This is not the kind of bad choice that you get a "pass" for. He must suffer the consequences - as should everyone else who allowed this to continue by their silence.
    Now the university will start healing. They will sit in the stands today, ignoring the media, and willl cheer on young men who worked their butts off to get to play division 1 football. They will cheer despite fallen heroes and the fallen reputation of their school. They will wear blue in honor of sexual abuse. They had a candlelight vigil last night to focus on the victims. And if I know my university, they will begin raising funds to help other victims. Penn State is not this yucky national story. It is a fine institution. They have cleaned house and have now started to heal. I am Penn State.
     
  35. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Well said Mary.

    A fine game played by two good teams. I was proud of the way both teams honored the victims and the situation today.
     
  36. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    Nov 12, 2011

    So many people have tweeted or posted on FB about how classy the Nebraska fans and team were. Thank you all for that.
    During the alma mater, it was a tradition that the students would sing "We don't know the GD words." It really does fit the melody. Funny when you are a student - until you're a sr. and you get sentimental. Today, I heard 100,000 people sing the real words: May no act of ours bring shame. Between that and the shared prayer, I was very teary.

     
  37. Major

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    Interesting read from the Centre Daily Times - climate of secrecy

    I certainly have no idea how much of this is true....... but it seems like Paterno had a lot more control than what many imagined...... I think he has a tough road ahead ... much worse than just being fired as head coach.....

    "Climate of secrecy led to crumbling of Camelot"

    http://www.centredaily.com/2011/11/...crumbling.html#storylink=omni_popular#wgt=pop

    "How could this happen in Happy Valley, the Camelot of college football?

    To answer that you have to understand the culture that has prevailed for at least as long as Paterno was in charge of the football program. It was, right up until he was removed from his position Wednesday night, a climate of Kremlin-like secrecy, of tightly-controlled access, of rule by dynamic terror. It was understood that if you wanted to be around his program in a professional aspect, you did so at his pleasure and by his rules.

    And that kind of climate is a petri dish for what happened in what must now be called the Sandusky Scandal."
     
  38. Irishdave

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    Nov 12, 2011

    When you are put in the position of having to report it is not easy.

    I have been twice put in that position. The first was before the mandatory report to the police law, that time I was written up by the principal because the parent was a friend of the principal.
    The second time I reported it to the police and I sent an e-mail to the principal (different principal) his nose was out of joint but couldn't do anything because I quoited the law in my email to him.

    It still made me think twice about reporting it as to the trouble I encountered. Now this was not first hand but my suspicions in both cases were that they were abused (that is all you need in AZ to report).
    In the first case the union handled the reprimand it was removed. I do not to this day know what was done and in the second the police handled it and it was investigated by CPS.

    So reporting is not so easy, if you see it first hand THAT is easy, but as we know predators are quite adapt at hiding their deeds.
    I pray for the young boys (and now some are adults) that they can find some peace over this.
     
  39. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Nov 13, 2011

    Responsibility is rarely easy.
     
  40. shouldbeasleep

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    Lots of thoughts running through my head.

    If I suspect that a student is being abused in my class, and I follow Georgia law and report it to the counselor and to the principal, I guess I had better hope that they followed up on it. I'm not allowed to ask them what happened. It's against state law for me to do that. I'm not allowed to report it to the police. I have to report it to the proper authority in my school if I am a teacher--and in Georgia, that would be the school counselor and the principal.

    From a cbs news 46 report

    A review by The Associated Press of the abuse-reporting laws of all 50 states showed that Pennsylvania is one of only about a half-dozen states where the protocol for staff members of schools, hospitals and other institutions is to notify the person in charge in the event of suspected child abuse. That superior is then legally obliged to report to the authorities.

    Those states with the same code as Pennsylvania include Virginia, Georgia, Massachusetts, Missouri and South Dakota.


    ..... Yes, it's a ridiculous law. On one occasion, I defied it and contacted child services myself. Got reprimanded for that, but unlike Irish Dave, the principal did not write me up. She sure was angry with me, though.

    .....Yes, the grad assistant should have knocked the man off the kid and then beat him to a pulp.

    .... Yes, the college president and campus director of security should have been fired for not reporting it to the state police. Notifying the campus police was not enough.

    Joe Paterno wasn't told of the seriousness of the crime by the grad assistant. The grad assistant lied to Paterno and said that he wasn't sure what he saw. Nevertheless, Paterno immediately reported what he knew to the person he was supposed to and told the grad assistant to also do that.

    He can look back now that he knows just what occured and wish he had used his clout to make sure the man went to jail.

    But lose his job because he failed to investigate the situation himself?

    I don't think so. He lost his job because the trustees have wanted to fire him for a very long time.

    I keep thinking I should delete this, but I won't. Flame on.
     

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