On Tuesday, I woke up and was disgusted at the way the Philadelphia Eagles had played the previous night, but that quickly took a back seat to what I heard on the radio and on the news. I sat there flabbergasted at what I was hearing and seeing over the airwaves.
I have not been able to think of anything else but this story, simply because I am a mother of a young boy and I am a friend to mothers with young boys. I am also human. It makes me wonder about the person sitting next to me. When did we make it okay for adults to take advantage of vulnerable children who are raw and clean of the taint of this world? How did we as a society let this happen?
These are the questions that I ask when I read and hear that former Penn State University defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky is being accused of sexually assaulting young children, on Penn State’s campus no less. These are men of authority, men that sometimes are the only father-figure that a young athlete or young male who may have lost his way knows. Then the father-figure, the role model, abuses that authority and trust that was given to them.
There are so many ways I could go with this unfathomable incident. You have a 60 year old man preying on young boys. You have the cover up. You have the destruction of young lives before they begin. Where would you like me to start?
Here is where I am going to start. This makes me not want to sign my son up for little league. This makes me want to keep my child indoors and bottle him up, but I cannot do that because he will never grow. Instead, I am going to have to trust a coach when he tells me that my son is in good hands. It makes me look at every person who comes in contact with my son suspiciously. This is just me personally, but I am quite sure that I am not the only mother or father who has thought just that. My heart goes out to the children who were abused by this man. My heart also goes out to the parents of these children who have to pick up the pieces and try to give their child a sense of normalcy.
I read some parts of the grand jury report and I had to stop because it bought me to tears, then to anger. I mean, the things that were described in this report could drive people to do things that would most certainly break the law. With that being said, how can a man walk in on this act and not do anything but walk back out the door? How can not one person think, “I need to take this to the police?” There are a lot of questions but no answers.
Here is my opinion; if your hand touched this in any way and your first thought wasn’t to go to the police or at least follow up, then you are just as guilty. This is a child…an innocent child. You don’t want to blame Joe Paterno, why? Why I ask you? In the volatile state this country is in, we are quick to attach blame to anyone who would take it, but yet people are sitting here protecting someone who knew details about child abuse. Even if it is a minute amount of information, it should have been discussed with someone other than people on the inside of the University.
I am sickened, saddened, but most of all enraged. I mean, this was supposedly going on for a long time and not one person thought to take a closer look at what was happening. What in the name of heaven were these guys thinking about? Protecting a legacy, protecting themselves? Because now the legacy has been soiled, and protection of oneself is now null and void.
The only thing that will be remembered is that several children’s innocence was stolen by a greedy man with a diseased mind. People like Mike McQueary who witnessed an act of child abuse and “Joe Pa” who heard of the incident, could have stopped this. They could have kept another child out of harm’s way. So for those of you that think that these men should not be to blame, shame on you.
Here are my final thoughts:
If you saw a kid being thrown into a van kicking and screaming, would you stand there and watch it happen? If you saw a child get hit by a car and the car drove off, would you write down the license plate? If you saw anyone being physically assaulted in the street, would you just do nothing? If you heard someone screaming for help, would you walk the other way? What if that was your son, daughter, niece, nephew, granddaughter, or grandson? Would you not want someone to help?
I am only 5 feet and 2 inches tall, but I promise you nothing would have stopped me from getting to that man and protecting that child. NOTHING.