It breaks our hearts to see Penn State alumni acting so irresponsibly by seeking to erect a privately funded new statue to Joe Paterno.
Penn State officials should denounce this callous move.
Paterno was not the most egregious wrongdoer in the Jerry Sandusky horror. But it’s clear that, at best, he should have done more.
This hurtful decision could deter victims, witnesses and whistle-blowers in child sex cases from protecting kids by reporting abuse, by reinforcing their often-justified pessimism that adult wrongdoers matter more than wounded kids and their fear that even if they speak up, powerful and popular grownups usually escape being exposed or punished for ignoring or concealing child sex crimes.
It could further victimize those already victimized — at Penn State and elsewhere — by child molesters, by showing them that many adults are willing to ignore or minimize their pain and honor a wrongdoer so they can feel good about a football team.
A doctor’s first job is to “do no harm.” In child sex cases, that’s the job of every caring adult. These alumni are, in fact, doing harm. They should know better.
Those who donated are putting the reputation of a deceased wrongdoer ahead of the healing of child rape victims. They are