Jerry Sandusky Case Essay.
Currently in the news, there is a major event that pertains to the topic of the psychology of trauma. This event is the investigation of Jerry Sandusky and his alleged conviction of sexual abuse. Jerry Sandusky, an assistant football coach at Penn State University, has been accused of sexually abusing boys in the basement of his home and in the school workout room and locker room. This investigation was triggered by one of the victims who went to the police and since then, more victims have come out as well.
This boy stated that the attacks lasted for about four years.
Jerry Sandusky met the boys though a foundation he started to help at-risk youths in 1977 called The Second Mile. So far there have been eight boys who have come forward to report sexual abuse by Jerry over the 15 years that this program has been running. The mother of one of the victimized boys was suspicious when the encounters of the coach and her son became very frequent and started to become sleepovers.
At this point, the boy was doing all he could to avoid Sandusky and even telling his mother to tell the coach he was not home when he called.
The victim’s mother became worried and contacted school officials but was told by the official to rethink the situation before reporting anything because of the coach’s strong reputation. She then went to the county Children and Youth Services where enough information was gathered to start a criminal investigation. Jerry Sandusky allegedly molesting boys led to the legendary Joe Paterno being fired from his position as the head coach of Penn State football team. Paterno has been a coach at the University since 1950, taking over as head coach in 1966.
Paterno is not charged with any crimes. However, he is accused by many of not doing enough to help prevent the abuses. This issue has been extremely controversial. Some feel Paterno should have done more to punish Jerry Sandusky after being told in 2002 that the former Penn State assistant coach had sexual relations with a boy on campus in the football facilities. Others feel that Paterno did enough by reporting the alleged incident to university administration officials. However, I would have to agree with the first half and say that Joe Paterno’s actions were inadequate.
Although Joe Paterno reported what he saw to the Penn State president his responsibility shouldn’t have ended there. Yes, he fulfilled his obligation to report any illegal actions on campus but when the Penn State President chose not to take legal action Paterno should have made the moral decision and had gone to the authorities. Legally, he fulfilled his obligation and therefore no longer holds any responsibility in the eyes of the legal system. In the eyes of morality though, his responsibility in the matter was not over just because he reported it to who he was supposed to. This major problem should have been dealt with a long time ago.
It’s just a moral obligation that Joe Paterno should have acted upon. So yes I feel he deserved to be fired. Everyone who knew about it should have reported it to legal authorities. His great athletic achievements and mutual respect should have pushed towards the issue being resolved and not swept under the rug for it to come out years after and now resulting in him being fired. Every action has a reaction and in this case the reaction is due to Paternos lack of action. The child sex abuse scandal overall is a public relations disaster that the university is likely to be dealing with for years to come.
I definitely don’t believe this case was sensationalized by the media, I mean let’s look at things from Sandusky’s perspective about what he was “taught” by the responses from Penn State and the nonprofit he founded, Second Mile: In 1998, he was caught taking a shower with a young boy; it was reported to Child Protective Services, and it was found “nothing untoward happened” All charges were dropped. What was Sandusky taught here? Even if I’m reported to authorities, nothing happens. I bet I can get away with more. In 2000, he is witnessed raping a boy in the shower at Penn State by a janitor.
Janitor tells his boss, who tells him to report it, but neither of them report it. Sandusky might have known he was witnessed and not reported. Lesson to Sandusky: I can be witnessed raping children in a semi-public place and no one will do anything. In 2002, he was witnessed raping a 10 year old in a public place (shower). He and the 10 year old both saw that they were witnessed. It was reported to the highest levels at Penn State, and apparently reported to Second Mile where he arranged to have access to foster kids who were already abuse victims and likely to be extremely easy targets for his predation.
Consequences to Sandusky? *His keys to the locker room at Penn State were taken away. * “He was told not to bring kids on campus–something everyone states was unenforceable. ” The cops were never even called. Lesson to Sandusky? Perhaps: the President of the University doesn’t really mind that I am raping children on university grounds. Since 1977 and until 2010, Sandusky was allowed access to multiple vulnerable kids through the nonprofit he founded, even after they were notified several times of his inappropriate behavior.
Even after Sandusky’s raping of a child was officially reported to police in 2008, he got to spend another two full years with Second Mile. What message was sent by so many different people, at so many levels– ranging from janitors to the President of the university, and from staff and leaders of a nonprofit to Child Protective Services itself? The reason why Joe Paterno, Penn State administrations and other did not take more actions upon learning of Sandusky behavior is simple. Money, Power, and Reputation. The first instinct would be to protect the organization itself.
Whether it’s a corporation, or any academic institution, their initial response is to hope the problem will go away. The second would be to hide it or buy their way out of it. By the time they realize that the best solution is to do the “right thing. ” The situation has already gotten out of control to the point that they have to continue the deception or admit they did the wrong thing. College sport is no exception. They don’t want to anger or embarrass alumni/boosters, lose sponsors, drop in the polls or lose a bowl bid – all blows to the revenue streams. Overall, Penn State football is a huge organization.
It brings in millions of dollars in revenue. It was so high up on the Totem Pole that it was seen as “untouchable. ” The President felt that if word got out it would be disastrous, but at the end of the day what is more disastrous the lives of dozens of young boys being ruined for the rest of their life or the reputation of a football team? Overall, I hope and believe this scandal has helped sexual abuse victims all around the world in a positive way. “It’s a collective empowerment for victims,” says, Jeff Herman, a Miami attorney who specializes in sexual abuse cases. Many victims feel guilty and ashamed.
Then they see all this press and all of a sudden they see victims standing up taking institution and they want to do the same. The number of phone calls a day pertaining to sexual abuse has doubled since then. The more the victims see their predators denied it the more they want to speak out about it because they know what happened to them and they feel like they owe to other victims themselves to speak out about it as well. Like the priest incidents and cover ups within the church, this is also about people we put on pedestals. Men hold such high esteem that we can’t believe it when we hear these things.
And some can’t bring themselves to blow the whistle on what’s happening, even when it’s so awful. The society we live in need to begin treating sexual assaults against children like they do murder. They killed a child’s spirit in so many ways and it never leaves them. It’s a strange phenomenon in our society and sadly children are the victims. We are in effect teaching them to do what people like Sandusky tell them to do, without question, making the problem worse. We need to question our values. And the men who knew this was happening or even suspected and didn’t go to the police should be held responsible, as a start.