Culture of Denial at Penn State and Beyond

The truth about Jerry Sandusky and the Penn State football program has finally come out.  In June, the former coach was convicted of sexually abusing boys over a 15-year period. More disturbing, however, was the 267-page internal review released July 12th which revealed the Penn State football program and upper-level administration going out of their way to cover up these awful crimes.

The modus operandi to look the other way while children were sexually assaulted by Sandusky was followed from top to bottom, from the senior leadership of Penn State to the janitors who actually witnessed some of the abusive acts.  There was a culture of denial at Penn State that allowed a pedophile to thrive and children to be harmed.

What is even more alarming is that this culture of denial not only exists in Penn State, but in our society at large.  It exists in every American who is willing to look the other way when children are being sexually abused.  It is in every individual who turns a blind eye to the problems of child abuse, pedophilia and child sex trafficking.

Statistics tell us that sexually abused children are 11 times more likely to be victims of human trafficking.  Domestic minor sex trafficking is happening all around us but we often choose not to see it.

Just as work is underway at Penn State to expel the people and eradicate the systems that allowed for child sex abuse to continue there for decades, the Araminta Freedom Initiative is working to eradicate the cultural systems that allow child sex trafficking to continue in our own Baltimore neighborhoods.

Our children must be protected. This culture of denial must end. We as a society must wake up to the harm that is being done to the next generation.  Our future depends on it.

If you want to join Araminta in fighting for our children, start here:

Mark Stephenson, Church Engagement Coordinator

2 Responses to “Culture of Denial at Penn State and Beyond”

  1. Bob Bingham

    To the Pennsylvania State University Board of Trustees:
    Even the current Penn State horror revives the same old response from our culture. You’d think we could do far better, but we stop far too short of any substance that would bring about real change and growth and maturity as a civilization. And in a blink, the attention will wander, and the news cycle will recycle, and the opportunity for children will be lost once again…
    Remember, it’s children that we failed, and children will be at stake going forward. Calls to pull down the statue of Paterno, shut down the football program, and even rename the university are perhaps appropriate, conceivably necessary; but they yield no lasting change on behalf of children. These responses are predictable, briefly satisfying, common, and utterly without power to grow any of us as human beings. Do them all if you must, but do much more than this because you can…
    As an undergrad alumnus of Penn Sate, I invite you to consider the following in the wake of the recent decade of PSU leadership failure in the arena of children. You have four responsibilities as a Board, and number two states, “ – The determination of the major goals of the University and the approval of the policies and procedures for implementation of such goals.”
    Within this responsibility, create the finest research and practice institution on the planet that is totally committed to the next generation. Name it after the children.
    Invest an initial $100M in a dedicated strategy to eradicate child abuse, dismantle the economics of child sex and labor trafficking, reinvent foster care, prevent predatory outcomes, and grow up a noble generation of children.
    The best work on behalf of children is yet to be done. Gather the finest faculty and best practices. Create a new undergrad and graduate field of study. Train your entire community to think differently about children. Make Penn State the “go-to” destination for individuals, cities and countries that are desperate to grow their children well. You know how to do such a thing. It will cost buckets of money. Don’t let that stop you.
    After all, this is the job of any maturing civilization: to look after the welfare of its’ children. Penn State needs to become the brightest light in this arena. In light of all that has transpired, do you have something better to do in your strategic plan for the next 20 years?
    I will help if you call. So will others.
    Dr. Robert Bingham
    PSU ‘75

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)