Failure to Report: Penn State in Our Own Communities
The Penn State child rape scandal hurts my heart every time I hear more about the horrible details of how Sandusky destroyed the innocence of likely dozens of young boys and betrayed the public trust.
But what is also troubling to me is the number of people around him who allegedly witnessed his attacks on young boys and did NOTHING.
As has been widely reported
According to a grand jury report, McQueary testified that, as a 28-year-old graduate assistant in 2002, he saw Sandusky having sex with a young boy in the shower of a university athletic facility and “immediately” left, telling only his father and then-coach Joe Paterno but not police. Sandusky has been charged with 40 counts related to child-sex abuse of eight boys over 15 years.
Outside of being guilty of being morally bankrupt, Mike McQueary and others should face charges for “failing to report.”
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:
Approximately 47 States, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Virgin Islands impose penalties on mandatory reporters who knowingly or willfully fail to make a report when they suspect that a child is being abused or neglected. Failure to report is classified as a misdemeanor in 39 States and American Samoa, Guam, and the Virgin Islands. In Arizona, Florida, and Minnesota, misdemeanors are upgraded to felonies for failure to report more serious situations, while in Illinois and Guam, second or subsequent violations are classified as felonies.
And as angry as I am about the Penn State case, I started to think about the crimes perpetrated against children in our own communities everyday.
And while we all will take the moral high ground and (rightfully) look down on the Penn State cabal, can we say we haven’t been guilty of “failing to report” the abuse of our children, women, and families living in our own communities?
How many people see something and say, “It’s not my problem,” or “I don’t want to get involved.”?
We have a moral obligation to protect our children.