Get Your Teen Magazine in your inbox! Sign Up
Logo
Get Print Edition

Penn State Sexual Abuse Scandal & Doing The Right Thing

Mindy

The story of alleged sexual abuse at Penn State continues to dominate the media. While the reports of sexual abuse are disturbing enough, I am also bothered by people’s failure to do the right thing.

I understand it is hard to accept and act on the fact that someone you know, are friends with or greatly respect has done something terribly wrong. And I realize that I might also have been temporarily paralyzed if I walked in on something as horrific as a child rape, but I hope the paralysis would be temporary. I also know it’s hard to take action against someone in a powerful position or to make a scene when people tell you to stay quiet. But I hope I would do the right thing.

There is so much to this story that in some way it must affect all of us. So I wonder, what are your thoughts on the Penn State abuse allegations? How has it affected you?


Devan

This is a classic debate. What would any us do if we were put in a difficult position? Of course we would all love to assume that we would do the right thing. But at the same time I am sure the people who chose the wrong choice thought they would chose right.

I feel like everyone has the same opinion about the whole Penn State thing. It was a horrible thing and it shows the lengths organizations will go to cover up and save their reputations. It makes you double think about how much time the media and everyone else spent making such a big deal about the Ohio State tattoo scandal. Just saying…


Amnon

Something as terrible as sexual abuse of children can’t go unnoticed. It’s as simple as that. People do make mistakes, but the actions taken in the Penn State affair cross the line. I know that if I were aware of this kind of behavior, I would report it immediately. And for the people who might hesitate – be shocked into a temporary paralysis – this entire case exemplifies that no matter how powerful the person or bizarre the situation, justice can be found. If enough people act out against this sort of crime, no one can ignore it.

I have become more aware of a balance in our society. We all have the power to uphold our moral structure. And each individual’s reaction to this kind of disturbing behavior influences everyone’s moral strength. So it’s important to never look the other way out of fear or disbelief.


Dan

This story disgusts me.

The weak excuse – by Coach Joe Paterno and the player who discovered the atrocity of an assistant coach Jerry Sandusky raping a  10-year-old boy in the shower – that they did what was required by passing the information on to their superiors is completely inadequate. In fact, it is unconscionable.

They claim that they made a mistake by not acting further. This is not a mistake. A mistake is when you bring home the wrong book, or dial the wrong number. This is the morally reprehensible act of not protecting someone who is weak from a stronger person who is abusing him. This is the failure to act as a responsible person in a just society. Truly, this is the despicable excuse of a weak individual who looks after his own interests, and lacks the courage and strength to simply do what is right.

Kids, some things in life are clearly right and wrong. If I can teach you nothing else…I hope that I can help you develop the courage to do what is right.


Ryan

I think that more and more in the media these days, you can see how important success in sports is to some people. The Ohio State scandal with selling championship rings and receiving cars illegally was another recent event that disgraced the college sports world. It was nothing but the same old story of coaches or athletic directors or members of the athletic boosters or board just trying to cover up their illegal activity in order to save the sports teams from any suspensions or other trouble.

It disgusts me to see that the importance of athletic success now sits above the importance of doing the right thing. I can imagine that as a coach or a high ranking member in the athletic department of a university, making a decision to either do the right thing or cover it up to save the team from penalties is hard. However, doing what is right should never be sacrificed for the success of an athletic team.

Mindy Gallagher

Mindy Gallagher is Your Teen Magazine’s social media editor and a mom to three boys.