Aaron Fisher, the young man who was responsible for triggering the investigation into Jerry Sandusky, told a crowd of 30 people Saturday morning that he hopes his story will encourage other sex abuse victims to come forward.
“The fear and shame associated with sexual abuse can ruin someone, and I hope that I can help other victims to have a voice and speak up and be silent no more,” said Fisher, who also co-wrote a book titled “Silent No More.”
Fisher spoke for two minutes during the rally at Central Mountain High School. The attendance was smaller than expected, given that more than 900 people liked the Facebook page promoting the event.
The rally’s purpose was twofold — show community support for Fisher and demonstrate anger toward Keystone Central School District administrators for their handling of Fisher’s situation.
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Fisher and his mother, Dawn Daniels, were told by school officials in November 2008 to think about the allegations they were making about Sandusky, who was volunteering as a football coach at Central Mountain High School.
But Daniels instead took her son to Clinton County’s Children and Youth Services Office where a caseworker and child psychologist interviewed Fisher.
Local people here also are taking issue with the bullying that Fisher faced at school, first when word got out in 2008 about the allegations and again last year when Sandusky was arrested.
“It was hard as for any kid, nonetheless who was bullied, not believed and not taken seriously,” Fisher said. “I’m glad the community is pulling together.
“The school needs to be accountable for not just what happened to me but for all the students who are subject to bullying.”
Fisher eventually switched schools because of the bullying he faced.
When Fisher arrived, he was greeted by applause and cheers. His mother spoke briefly, thanking the community for its support. While he spoke, she wiped away a tear.
Reporters were told there would be no questions for Fisher.
U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-Howard Township, also spoke, saying reform is needed to address school bullying.
Donald Fisher Jr., one of Fisher’s uncles at the rally, said Keystone Central needs to address that and change its policy so that children cannot be taken out of classes at will, as Sandusky was allowed to take Aaron Fisher out of class.
The uncle said he was proud of his nephew for making it through this ordeal.
“I can only imagine what it took to get to this point,” Donald Fisher Jr. said.
The rally organizers also planned a candlelight vigil Saturday night at the levee in Lock Haven on East Water Street.