I will safely assume that no one has lived under a rock the last few days and has at least heard about the scandal in Penn State, if not been following it closely. Whether one agrees on whether Joe Paterno or “JoePa,” as Penn State students like to call him, should have been fired or not, you should agree that he and the other employees of Penn State should have reported the sexual abuse against children to the authorities immediately after the crime was witnessed.
As I hear each new development in this case, I cringe. What happened to those children was and will always be a disgrace. Penn State has a lot of damage control to do, but the violence and destruction that took place in University Park following Paterno’s firing only adds another black eye to the university. I do not know if I agree with the argument by many that the way Paterno was fired was disrespectful, but I can understand it.
However, I find it disturbing that many Penn State students who actually agreed with the firing of Paterno were too afraid to voice their opinions. And who can blame them when their peers were turning over news vans and smashing car windows? The destruction that occurred and the damage that was done does nothing to help Joe Paterno, Penn State and, more importantly, the dozens of victims of the suspect Jeff Sandusky.
On Friday night, Penn State students took a huge step in the right direction when an estimated ten thousand students came out for a candlelight vigil held not only for those victimized in this particular case, but for all victims of sexual abuse worldwide.