By Patricia Chang
It’s hard to identify what exactly is the most shocking element of the Penn State tragedy. Jerry Sandusky’s repeated sexual assault of numerous minor boys is surely at the top of the list, but what about the graduate assistant, Mike McQueary, who witnessed the abuse first-hand and, instead of immediately calling the police, called his father? What about Joe Paterno, who was made aware of Sandusky’s actions and allowed it to continue? And what of the Penn State rioters who make Paterno out to be the victim?
Forum director Thane Rosenbaum shares his thoughts on the moral responsibilities of a bystander who has the ability to help — and the societal repercussions of one who fails to do so — in an article for the Daily Beast: Penn State’s Tragedy Enabled by Coaches and Others Who Looked Away.
In light of the recently disseminated Grand Jury report regarding Mike McQueary’s testimony, it is hard to fathom that Paterno, knowing what he knew, failed to act, and Sandusky was permitted to continue:
As the graduate assistant entered the locker room doors, he was surprised to ﬁnd the lights and showers on. He then heard rhythmic slapping sounds. He believed the sounds to be those of sexual activity. As the graduate assistant put the sneakers in his locker, he looked into the shower.
He saw a naked boy, Victim 2, whose age he estimated to be ten years old, with his hands up against the wall, being subjected to anal intercourse by a naked Sandusky. The graduate assistant was shocked but noticed that both Victim 2 and Sandusky saw him.