Protecting Our Children—Everyone’s Responsibility!

AUTHOR: | POSTED: November 10, 2011 | COMMENTS: 4 Comments
CATEGORIES: Daddy on The Fly,

Sean Savage

We watch a lot of ESPN in this house.  Most days, the stories are about stunning upsets, amazing feats of athleticism, or last weekend’s controversial call.  Of course, athletes are notorious for behaving badly, so there are also occasions when the sports news-of-the-day is scandalous.  We don’t shelter our teenage boys from these stories.  Instead, we try to use the poor choices that precipitate most scandals as teachable moments about impulse control, the dangers of greed or the importance of honesty and integrity.  This week’s college football scandal has been a challenge, however.     How does a parent explain to their kids that not one…not two… but several Penn State coaches and administrators turned a blind eye to a man who was sexually abusing children? 

 As I drove my 14 year old son to school this morning, we listened to the Penn State updates and discussed what was happening.  I expressed how hurt I was for the young victims and their parents; how angry I was towards the rapist and all who enabled him for such a long period of time.  I wondered aloud if any of the enablers allowed their children or grandchildren to be around Jerry Sandusky over the past thirteen years?  I bet they didn’t.    “Who cares about everyone else’s children,” seems to have been their motto.  Then, I explained that those who turned away and did nothing to prevent the victimization of the next child, are complicit.  As a society, we must hold the enablers responsible in the same way we would hold the driver of a get-away car responsible.   

It was tough and, frankly, sad to watch my fourteen year old try to understand how so many adults could fail to do the right thing.  It was also rewarding to see that he clearly understood that every adult has a moral obligation to step in and stop any crime against a child, regardless of personal consequences.  We cannot turn our backs on any child—EVER.  Every adult who learned about Jerry Sandusky’s crimes should have moved heaven and Earth to see that justice was served and every other child was protected from this sexual predator.  

I shudder to think of a society where selfish concerns—like a football program, a job, or the reputation of a university—trump the safety and well-being of children.  As the details of the Penn State cover-up unfold, however, it seems as though we are on the cusp of living in such a world.  Instead of rushing to the defense of the enablers, or rioting in the streets because a beloved football coach was fired, the students and faculty at Penn State should be taking action to support the real victims; the eight boys that we know about, and the others that may never come forward. 

It’s the victims who have my prayers, support and sympathy.  I can only hope and pray that everyone else involved, gets what they deserve.

4 Comments on “ Protecting Our Children—Everyone’s Responsibility! ”

  • Nicki | November 10th, 2011 9:18 pm

    Agree 110%!

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  • Danielle | November 11th, 2011 9:13 am


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  • Andria | November 11th, 2011 5:51 pm

    I could not agree with you more. It’s so hard to imagine a world where protecting a job or a program or a winning team has become more important than protecting a child. My prayers go out for the victims and the families and I hope every single person who knew what was happening and passed the ball is fired and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

    PS – I LOVED your books and just found your site, which I also love! God bless you all! I’m so happy you have your beautiful twins and the happy ending you so richly deserve!

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  • Dawn | November 12th, 2011 12:23 am

    Prayers to the victims. Unfortunately, I think the University, it is drive to look like they are “doing something” have made A LOT of bad decisions that are only making the situation even worse. How they have handling things has been HORRIBLE. I read that the alleged victims’ lawyer has even said that the University’s chooses this week have made it WORSE for the vicitms. We will be at the game this afternoon. I pray that everything ends up OK, in the end.

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