Not this way… Not today…
As a follow-up to our class discussion from Wednesday, I did not expect to be blogging about Joe Paterno at this very difficult time for his family. As a non-sports fan I had to read about him having more wins than anyone else in major college football. However, I did hear repeatedly how he was fired from Penn State during a child sex abuse scandal. And now the world has heard about his death at the age of 85 from lung cancer.
Wow, what a story to hear of “JoePa’s” fame of 409 wins in 46 seasons and two national championships. It was unfortunate that his world famous reputation for success was shattered. His work shattered by the allegations of a former assistant who was charged with molesting 10 boys over a 15-year period, including some in the Penn State athletic complex. As a public educator we all know our rights and responsibilities of reporting such allegations; but where does our obligation end. We should not judge the critics of Paterno or Paterno himself that “he” should have done more to stop it. I think of the many classroom teachers, counselors and administrators that have been placed in similar reporting situations, maybe not of child sexual abuse but other reportable offenses. It’s a difficult position to be in for all parties.
I read this posting today about Paterno, “When God puts you on earth to do certain things and it’s taken away, your will to live gets weaker”. This explains what happens to passion and spirits when political frames and symbols frames are tools that are misused to make a public statement. What happened to the investigative process….I still want to know. Again, it will be over shadowed by the media with the memorials. I want to know more about the welfare of the alleged victims and what support is being provided to them.