Sandusky Scandal at Penn State [trigger warning]

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Sandusky Scandal at Penn State [trigger warning]

Postby TechiesGoBoom » Fri Nov 11, 2011 3:41 pm UTC

So I'm sure people have seen all of the news on this big scandal rocking Penn State.

For those of you who aren't aware Jerry Sandusky. a former Penn State Coach and a man who started a charity for troubled kids and teens has allegedly been raping young men for well over 10 years. Two people have caught him in the act, both nearly ten years ago, the police actually investigated at one point but were told to stop. Joe Paterno and the university's president Graham Spanier have been fired because of it. I actually live here in State College, PA so I've gotten to see a lot of the reaction form the locals along with the fact that some kids protesting flipped a news van after JoePa was fired.

I highly encourage anyone who is interested in this to read the grand jury presentation before you start making opinions. The national media has really been attacking JoePa about this, but it's a little reckless to attack the man as well without the facts.

Also, a huge trigger warning, this is an incredibly difficult to read, it is just disgusting

Also, a fact to note that most media don't understand. Penn State has it's own zip code along with it's own police force; our "university police" are an actual police force, guns and badges and everything.

http://wearecentralpa.com/images/Multi_Media/wearecentralpa/nxd_media/dox/pdf/2011_11/Sandusky%20Grand%20Jury%20Presentation.pdf

I heard a great comment about this story, that no matter how you read there aren't any heroes.

I would love to hear what non-staters think after they know the facts.

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Re: Sandusky Scandal at Penn State [trigger warning]

Postby Williks » Fri Nov 11, 2011 4:30 pm UTC

TechiesGoBoom wrote:has allegedly been raping young men for well over 10 years.

Let's be clear here. They were children, not young men.

This is the exact same sort of thing we've seen with the Catholic Church. Not only was this a stunning ethical failure, it was stupid. Did they really think this wouldn't come out? That you could just bury something like this? You have a handful of people here who had all received credible reports of sexual assault who did nothing. Rather than going to the police they decided it would be better to handle things internally. Paterno doesn't get a pass because he decided to pass the buck.

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Re: Sandusky Scandal at Penn State [trigger warning]

Postby faranim » Fri Nov 11, 2011 4:42 pm UTC

Disclaimer: the only content I have read about this scandal (so far) is the PDF in the OP.

1. Were Tim Curley and/or Gary Schultz penalized in any way? Based on the report, it sounds like they lied to Paterno and the University President about the severity of the incident reported to them by the graduate student. They described it as "horsing around" to downplay the need to contact the authorities. They repeated this lie to the Grand Jury under oath, and the Jury called them out on it. But did nothing happen to them?

2. I still have no idea why Paterno or the President of the University should be fired over this. They aren't really mentioned much in the Grand Jury report.

3. I'm so confused regarding the outcome of Victim 6. The mother contacted the authorities, they eavesdropped on a conversation with Sandusky, in which Sandusky admits to showing with young boys, and said "I wish I were dead." And the outcome of this investigation was that Sandusky was "advised" to not shower with young boys anymore? WTF?

I also think it's weird that Sandusky was constantly inviting young boys as guests to various sporting events, dinners, etc. and nobody ever questioned this?

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Re: Sandusky Scandal at Penn State [trigger warning]

Postby Dauric » Fri Nov 11, 2011 4:47 pm UTC

faranim wrote:2. I still have no idea why Paterno or the President of the University should be fired over this. They aren't really mentioned much in the Grand Jury report.


From my understanding (from the various news coverage) Paterno was fired because even though he went to his superiors in the administration about the allegations, he didn't go directly to the police -in addition to-, since it was allegations of a criminal act.
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Re: Sandusky Scandal at Penn State [trigger warning]

Postby Garm » Fri Nov 11, 2011 5:07 pm UTC

Dauric wrote:
faranim wrote:2. I still have no idea why Paterno or the President of the University should be fired over this. They aren't really mentioned much in the Grand Jury report.


From my understanding (from the various news coverage) Paterno was fired because even though he went to his superiors in the administration about the allegations, he didn't go directly to the police -in addition to-, since it was allegations of a criminal act.


Don't forget allowing Sandusky back on campus after these allegations and investigations. JoePa failed ethically. Not lapsed. Failed. Completely and utterly. I don't know or care why but he needed to get fired. First off, you don't just let things slide at "I reported to my athletic director." Secondly, you don't let this alleged child molester wander around on your campus with keys to your facility.
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Re: Sandusky Scandal at Penn State [trigger warning]

Postby TechiesGoBoom » Fri Nov 11, 2011 5:11 pm UTC

Here is the rest of the criminal paperwork for the trial. It looks like both Curley and Shultz are being charged with perjury and failure to report.

http://wearecentralpa.com/wtaj-news-fulltext/?nxd_id=320827

As to JoePa's guilt, it seems to me like it's really the athletic director's decision of who gets access to the campus and such, the football coach isn't 100% responsible for that.

And Spanier was fired just because "the buck stops there." He was president of a university where these people who failed to report were working. Also the fact that the janitor's were too scared for their jobs to report this incident could fall uphill.

Edit: I'm not saying JoePa is innocent, just that his crime isn't quite as bad as most seem to believe.

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Re: Sandusky Scandal at Penn State [trigger warning]

Postby Garm » Fri Nov 11, 2011 5:13 pm UTC

TechiesGoBoom wrote:As to JoePa's guilt, it seems to me like it's really the athletic director's decision of who gets access to the campus and such, the football coach isn't 100% responsible for that.


Normally, I'd agree with this but with Paterno, he was the institution. That's one of the reasons why this scandal is so huge. The gravity that Paterno exerted on college football was immense.
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Re: Sandusky Scandal at Penn State [trigger warning]

Postby Drumheller769 » Fri Nov 11, 2011 5:14 pm UTC

Yea, while I don't know all the details, it seems like part of the problem was that there was no easy way to report anything anonymously or without consequences. Had people not had to worry about making someone angry, or losing their job I would like to think this would have been taken care of sooner.
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Re: Sandusky Scandal at Penn State [trigger warning]

Postby Garm » Fri Nov 11, 2011 5:18 pm UTC

Drumheller769 wrote:Yea, while I don't know all the details, it seems like part of the problem was that there was no easy way to report anything anonymously or without consequences. Had people not had to worry about making someone angry, or losing their job I would like to think this would have been taken care of sooner.


Anonymity shouldn't even enter into the equation! These are adults, failing kids, on a massive level.

It's not about losing the job, it's about tarnishing the image of the program and of the school. The only person who loses their job if this gets reported correctly is the child molester.
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Re: Sandusky Scandal at Penn State [trigger warning]

Postby johnny_7713 » Fri Nov 11, 2011 5:52 pm UTC

Garm wrote:
Drumheller769 wrote:Yea, while I don't know all the details, it seems like part of the problem was that there was no easy way to report anything anonymously or without consequences. Had people not had to worry about making someone angry, or losing their job I would like to think this would have been taken care of sooner.


Anonymity shouldn't even enter into the equation! These are adults, failing kids, on a massive level.

It's not about losing the job, it's about tarnishing the image of the program and of the school. The only person who loses their job if this gets reported correctly is the child molester.


In the non-ideal world in which we live people have been known to lose their jobs for reporting matters that tarnished the reputation of the company or institution for which they worked. Hence the need for whistleblower protections.

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Re: Sandusky Scandal at Penn State [trigger warning]

Postby Garm » Fri Nov 11, 2011 7:05 pm UTC

johnny_7713 wrote:
Garm wrote:
Drumheller769 wrote:Yea, while I don't know all the details, it seems like part of the problem was that there was no easy way to report anything anonymously or without consequences. Had people not had to worry about making someone angry, or losing their job I would like to think this would have been taken care of sooner.


Anonymity shouldn't even enter into the equation! These are adults, failing kids, on a massive level.

It's not about losing the job, it's about tarnishing the image of the program and of the school. The only person who loses their job if this gets reported correctly is the child molester.


In the non-ideal world in which we live people have been known to lose their jobs for reporting matters that tarnished the reputation of the company or institution for which they worked. Hence the need for whistleblower protections.


Whistleblower protections are a very good thing. When it's the boss reporting the bad behavior of his employee, however, it's seldom an issue. In this case, I think Paterno was more afraid of tarnishing his reputation and the reputation of the school that he worked so hard to improve. In this case, waiting for things to blow up made the situation, and the effect on his reputation, much worse.
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Re: Sandusky Scandal at Penn State [trigger warning]

Postby Dark567 » Fri Nov 11, 2011 7:26 pm UTC

Garm wrote:Don't forget allowing Sandusky back on campus after these allegations and investigations. JoePa failed ethically. Not lapsed. Failed. Completely and utterly. I don't know or care why but he needed to get fired. First off, you don't just let things slide at "I reported to my athletic director." Secondly, you don't let this alleged child molester wander around on your campus with keys to your facility.

Its worth noting that Sandusky wasn't part of the football program since '99 and was working directly for the athletic department. The actual person who saw the abuse(McQueen) also only reported it to the athletic department and not to the police is still working as a coach. For that matter one Schultz one of the administrators contacted(and indicted) is in charge of Penn State police.

I think people are probably being too hard on JoePa, even though he deserved to be fired.
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Re: Sandusky Scandal at Penn State [trigger warning]

Postby buddy431 » Fri Nov 11, 2011 7:34 pm UTC

Garm wrote:
johnny_7713 wrote:
Garm wrote:
Drumheller769 wrote:Yea, while I don't know all the details, it seems like part of the problem was that there was no easy way to report anything anonymously or without consequences. Had people not had to worry about making someone angry, or losing their job I would like to think this would have been taken care of sooner.


Anonymity shouldn't even enter into the equation! These are adults, failing kids, on a massive level.

It's not about losing the job, it's about tarnishing the image of the program and of the school. The only person who loses their job if this gets reported correctly is the child molester.


In the non-ideal world in which we live people have been known to lose their jobs for reporting matters that tarnished the reputation of the company or institution for which they worked. Hence the need for whistleblower protections.


Whistleblower protections are a very good thing. When it's the boss reporting the bad behavior of his employee, however, it's seldom an issue. In this case, I think Paterno was more afraid of tarnishing his reputation and the reputation of the school that he worked so hard to improve. In this case, waiting for things to blow up made the situation, and the effect on his reputation, much worse.


I guess we can't really know what they was thinking when they decided to tell his superiors before (and instead of) the police, but I see that as a pretty normal (though flawed) reaction. The graduate assistant went first to his Dad, and then his football coach - people he knew and trusted. Paterno went to his boss, again, someone he knew and trusted. Both of them received assurances that it was being taken care of. If I ever witnessed someone sodomizing a kid, I'd probably go to my parents first too (at least before this incident) - I've never really interacted with the police (reporting a crime or otherwise), and I would much rather tell someone I knew than some faceless guy in a uniform. The graduate assistant evidently knew that Sandusky was having sex with the kid, but Paterno claims he didn't know the extent of the abuse. Is he just trying to cover his ass? Perhaps, but he also describes the graduate assistant as "very upset", and it's possible that he really didn't convey what he actually saw.

My impression is that only Curley and Shultz are facing criminal charges, which I think is probably appropriate, as it isn't clear how much Paterno knew about the extent of the allegations (it also highlights that you shouldn't lie to a grand jury. They ask you something incriminating? You have a fifth amendment right to shut up. Or just pull the time-honored stunt of claiming that your memory of events eight years ago is a bit fuzzy.).
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Re: Sandusky Scandal at Penn State [trigger warning]

Postby Lucrece » Fri Nov 11, 2011 8:12 pm UTC

That's your problem right there. You don't just tell people you trust hoping to shrug off your ability to intervene and prevent damage to a fucking child. If I hear a child is caught on a fucking quicksand, I don't just tell a camp counselor about it and go with my day as normal.

If he received said warning, he should've done everything in his power to make sure an impartial and transparent investigation was carried out. You can't take someone's word for granted. You should report the incident to various agencies, and if a victim is not identified and you personally are not made aware of resolutions you should at least have the decency to tip the media so investigations outside the institution are carried out.
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Re: Sandusky Scandal at Penn State [trigger warning]

Postby Garm » Fri Nov 11, 2011 8:21 pm UTC

Sarah Ganim has basically been a superstar when it comes to covering this story.

Full article here [trigger warning]: http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2011/11/who_knew_what_about_jerry_sand.html

Here are some pertinent bits from the article. I've spoilered it because hoo boy trigger:

Spoiler:
It was about 9:30 at night on a Friday before spring break. McQueary testified that he came to the football building in order to drop off a pair of new sneakers and pick up recruiting tapes. Instead, he testified that he walked in on Sandusky sexually assaulting a boy, estimated to be about 10 years old, in the shower.


Instead of taking action to stop what he was watching, McQueary testified that he left immediately and told his father. The next morning, McQueary said, they went to see Paterno.

And what did McQueary say?

We don’t know. The grand jury presentment that has been given to the public, simply says that McQueary “reported what he had seen.”

According to Paterno’s testimony, McQueary told the coach he had witnessed Sandusky “fondling or doing something of a sexual nature” to the boy


Even though Paterno himself had told the grand jury that McQueary saw “something of a sexual nature,” Paterno said this week that he had stopped the conversation before it got too graphic. Instead, he told McQueary he would need to speak with his superior, Athletic Director Tim Curley, and with Schultz.

That meeting did not happen for 10 days.


So Paterno got a report from a grad assistant, told that assistant that he (Paterno) would report that to his superiors and then sat on that in formation for ten days! That is not a man, in my mind, who's very concerned with catching a sexual predator.
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Re: Sandusky Scandal at Penn State [trigger warning]

Postby Dark567 » Fri Nov 11, 2011 8:25 pm UTC

Garm wrote:So Paterno got a report from a grad assistant, told that assistant that he (Paterno) would report that to his superiors and then sat on that in formation for ten days! That is not a man, in my mind, who's very concerned with catching a sexual predator.
Okay, if he waited for 10 days, I take back what I said, he deserves to be treated pretty harshly.
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Re: Sandusky Scandal at Penn State [trigger warning]

Postby buddy431 » Fri Nov 11, 2011 11:54 pm UTC

Dark567 wrote:
Garm wrote:So Paterno got a report from a grad assistant, told that assistant that he (Paterno) would report that to his superiors and then sat on that in formation for ten days! That is not a man, in my mind, who's very concerned with catching a sexual predator.
Okay, if he waited for 10 days, I take back what I said, he deserves to be treated pretty harshly.


The report says the graduate student reported it to Paterno Saturday, and Paterno called the athletic director to his house Sunday (the next day).
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Re: Sandusky Scandal at Penn State [trigger warning]

Postby Jacque » Sat Nov 12, 2011 12:08 am UTC

Paterno was rightly fired. For a guy that could talk the talk about honor and ethics, he really failed to walk the walk when he enabled his old serial-child rapist buddy to keep on raping children. JoePa was basically a living deity at State College, all he had to do was snap his fingers and he could have done anything. It really sucks that this had to happen to him because as he said it himself he "could have done more" and he was such a nice man giving back to the university like he did. Tragic, but no where near as tragic as at least 10 little boys molested.

As as for McQueary... dude saw Sandusky raping a 10 year old and does what? Put his 6'4" 220lbs body between the two and intervene on behalf of the little boy, and take Sandusky out right on the spot? No, he went running to his daddy who was buddies with Sandusky. How could a person do that? Absolutely disgusting.

Now, what will become of PSU? Did they knowingly violate the Cleary Act and will they lose federal funding because of that? How much of their total endowment will they have to rightfully fork over to the victims? Will their football program ever recover?

I feel sorry for anyone affiliated with PSU who was in no way involved in this, everything is just tainted now.

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Re: Sandusky Scandal at Penn State [trigger warning]

Postby sourmìlk » Sat Nov 12, 2011 2:49 am UTC

Jacque wrote:
As as for McQueary... dude saw Sandusky raping a 10 year old and does what? Put his 6'4" 220lbs body between the two and intervene on behalf of the little boy, and take Sandusky out right on the spot? No, he went running to his daddy who was buddies with Sandusky. How could a person do that? Absolutely disgusting.

I couldn't take that course of action if I wanted to. I would use my 6'3" 250 lbs body and 10 years of martial arts training to beat the shit out of Sandusky. I couldn't restrain myself from beating the shit out of him.
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Re: Sandusky Scandal at Penn State [trigger warning]

Postby jakovasaur » Sat Nov 12, 2011 2:59 am UTC

Sourmilk, everybody.

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Re: Sandusky Scandal at Penn State [trigger warning]

Postby sourmìlk » Sat Nov 12, 2011 5:05 am UTC

Hah, no, I'm not the skinny kind of nerd, I'm the obese kind of nerd. None of those 250 lbs are muscle.
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Re: Sandusky Scandal at Penn State [trigger warning]

Postby Diadem » Sat Nov 12, 2011 6:38 am UTC

The thing with humans is that most of us are simply not prepared for situations when shit suddenly gets real. You have a comfortable job, a comfortable life, your biggest concern in life is if a few kids you know will manage to get more leather eggs to one side of a field of grass than a bunch of other kids will get to the other side.

Then suddenly you're faced with this.

Of course it's a failing to not report it properly. But it's a very human failing. You're suddenly way out of your depth in a terrible situation that you really do not even want to think about. A situation that is completely not your fault, but that threatens to have a major impact on your life. Blowing the whistle is dangerous, despite protection laws things usually do not end well for whistleblowers. In the best case scenario you'll looking at several months of stress combined with mixed (if not outright hostile) reactions from your friends and colleagues.

It's a very normal response to do the minimum your consciousness demands of you (reporting it to your superiors) and then hope that someone else will take care of the problem.

And while we can all say that it is wrong to do only that, I think it's a bit too easy to get very angry over it, or call them horrible human beings, out of the comfort of your armchair, when you've never been in such a situation yourself.
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Re: Sandusky Scandal at Penn State [trigger warning]

Postby sourmìlk » Sat Nov 12, 2011 6:44 am UTC

I'm curious as to whether or not this is the same as the bystander effect. I think it might be, in that it's about moving responsibility onto others. If that's the case though, then I have trouble sympathizing. It's not like the bystander effect is impossible or even difficult to overcome. I myself have done it a few times when others haven't.
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Re: Sandusky Scandal at Penn State [trigger warning]

Postby Diadem » Sat Nov 12, 2011 9:26 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:then I have trouble sympathizing.

Which, of course, is another common human failing :)
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Re: Sandusky Scandal at Penn State [trigger warning]

Postby Angua » Sat Nov 12, 2011 10:53 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:I'm curious as to whether or not this is the same as the bystander effect. I think it might be, in that it's about moving responsibility onto others. If that's the case though, then I have trouble sympathizing. It's not like the bystander effect is impossible or even difficult to overcome. I myself have done it a few times when others haven't.


Can we stop with the 'if I can do it, then others can as wel, and therefore deserve no sympathy when they atually default to the normal behaviour' mentality (not necessarily for this specific case where it is pretty horrible that someone saw a kid being raped and did nothing to stop it). There are so many things wrong with that.
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Re: Sandusky Scandal at Penn State [trigger warning]

Postby wumpus » Sat Nov 12, 2011 1:50 pm UTC

A few more notes:

The bit about whistleblowing seems spot on. Calling the police on the football team in State College is an exersize in futility, Penn State football is the law there. Witnesses had essentially two options: physically confront Sandusky or tell Joe Paterno.

Judging from the recent riot, I suspect that anyone attacking a coach can expect retribution from the players (who tend to have 250+lbs. of muscle), and could very well have the rape pinned on them (especially if injuries require medical care and required reporting). We now know how useless telling Joe Pa was.

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Re: Sandusky Scandal at Penn State [trigger warning]

Postby The Great Hippo » Sat Nov 12, 2011 5:06 pm UTC

I take horrible events like these as an opportunity to remind myself what being a responsible, good person should mean. It means not passing the buck--don't just sit down, shut up, and assume that the next person down the line will handle it. It means not minding your own business. It means pissing people off--inconveniencing the fuck out of everyone--and being loud as hell.

My father used to tell me, half-jokingly, that you know something's the right thing to do when it's the one thing you don't want to do. In situations like these, the last thing most of us would want to do is confront the issue head-on--which is part of why I think it's so important that we do it anyway.

As an aside, it's already been noted, but just to reaffirm--this was obviously a monumental ethical failure for everyone involved, but it was also a monumental professional failure. Everyone in this situation had a responsibility to ensure a safe environment for the children placed within their care. If contacting the police in Penn State wouldn't accomplish anything, they should have reached farther--someone somewhere would have listened. In my estimation, everyone along this chain of communication should be fired.

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Re: Sandusky Scandal at Penn State [trigger warning]

Postby Dark567 » Sat Nov 12, 2011 5:20 pm UTC

wumpus wrote:The bit about whistleblowing seems spot on. Calling the police on the football team in State College is an exersize in futility, Penn State football is the law there. Witnesses had essentially two options: physically confront Sandusky or tell Joe Paterno.
I very much doubt this. I graduated from a football college, and been to Penn State, and the police are still the police. For that matter history seems to contradict you, 46 players faced 167 charges between 2002 and 2008.
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Re: Sandusky Scandal at Penn State [trigger warning]

Postby sourmìlk » Sun Nov 13, 2011 5:21 am UTC

Angua wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:I'm curious as to whether or not this is the same as the bystander effect. I think it might be, in that it's about moving responsibility onto others. If that's the case though, then I have trouble sympathizing. It's not like the bystander effect is impossible or even difficult to overcome. I myself have done it a few times when others haven't.


Can we stop with the 'if I can do it, then others can as well, and therefore deserve no sympathy when they atually default to the normal behaviour' mentality


I didn't mean to imply that my ability alone should imply his ability to overcome the pseudo-bystander effect, I was just using it as an example. But not overcoming that effect, in this case, is so immoral that if he couldn't put the tiniest bit of mental effort in necessary to overcome that effect, I see no reason to respect or sympathize with that.
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Re: Sandusky Scandal at Penn State [trigger warning]

Postby The Great Hippo » Sun Nov 13, 2011 6:17 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:I didn't mean to imply that my ability alone should imply his ability to overcome the pseudo-bystander effect, I was just using it as an example. But not overcoming that effect, in this case, is so immoral that if he couldn't put the tiniest bit of mental effort in necessary to overcome that effect, I see no reason to respect or sympathize with that.
More to the point, it's his job to overcome that effect. His job description includes maintaining a safe environment for children. This is kind of like a police officer ignoring a violent crime.

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Re: Sandusky Scandal at Penn State [trigger warning]

Postby sourmìlk » Sun Nov 13, 2011 7:20 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:I didn't mean to imply that my ability alone should imply his ability to overcome the pseudo-bystander effect, I was just using it as an example. But not overcoming that effect, in this case, is so immoral that if he couldn't put the tiniest bit of mental effort in necessary to overcome that effect, I see no reason to respect or sympathize with that.
More to the point, it's his job to overcome that effect. His job description includes maintaining a safe environment for children. This is kind of like a police officer ignoring a violent crime.


Oh wow, this too. It's a lapse in morality I wouldn't forgive in an innocent bystander, but considering it's his job, I not only lack sympathy for this guy, but now have negative sympathy. What's that called, antipathy or something?
Terry Pratchett wrote:The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

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Re: Sandusky Scandal at Penn State [trigger warning]

Postby jakovasaur » Sun Nov 13, 2011 7:31 am UTC

I agree that he fucked up big time, but I don't think it's fair to say that protecting little children is McQueary's job. He's a wide receivers coach at a university. That's not quite like a cop turning his back on violent crime.

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Re: Sandusky Scandal at Penn State [trigger warning]

Postby Dark567 » Sun Nov 13, 2011 8:29 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:I didn't mean to imply that my ability alone should imply his ability to overcome the pseudo-bystander effect, I was just using it as an example. But not overcoming that effect, in this case, is so immoral that if he couldn't put the tiniest bit of mental effort in necessary to overcome that effect, I see no reason to respect or sympathize with that.
More to the point, it's his job to overcome that effect. His job description includes maintaining a safe environment for children. This is kind of like a police officer ignoring a violent crime.

Uhh... where is that in his job description? He is a coach for college athletes, not a baby sitter or camp counselor.
I apologize, 90% of the time I write on the Fora I am intoxicated.


Yakk wrote:The question the thought experiment I posted is aimed at answering: When falling in a black hole, do you see the entire universe's future history train-car into your ass, or not?

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Re: Sandusky Scandal at Penn State [trigger warning]

Postby Angua » Sun Nov 13, 2011 2:00 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:
Angua wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:I'm curious as to whether or not this is the same as the bystander effect. I think it might be, in that it's about moving responsibility onto others. If that's the case though, then I have trouble sympathizing. It's not like the bystander effect is impossible or even difficult to overcome. I myself have done it a few times when others haven't.


Can we stop with the 'if I can do it, then others can as well, and therefore deserve no sympathy when they atually default to the normal behaviour' mentality


I didn't mean to imply that my ability alone should imply his ability to overcome the pseudo-bystander effect, I was just using it as an example. But not overcoming that effect, in this case, is so immoral that if he couldn't put the tiniest bit of mental effort in necessary to overcome that effect, I see no reason to respect or sympathize with that.
You've done it before though, and I wanted to make sure that you realise that one example from your own personal life doesn't invalidate it. (Also, as you've edited it out of my quote, may I remind you that I said in my post I wasn't talking about this case in particular where it was obviously an immoral thing to do).
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Re: Sandusky Scandal at Penn State [trigger warning]

Postby morriswalters » Sun Nov 13, 2011 4:44 pm UTC

Ignorance of the Law is no excuse, if he knew Sandusky had committed an illegal act, the bystander effect explains what he did, but neither relieves him of moral or legal responsibility. It's an explanation not an excuse.

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Re: Sandusky Scandal at Penn State [trigger warning]

Postby The Great Hippo » Sun Nov 13, 2011 4:46 pm UTC

Oh, I was under the impression that the victim's presence there was under the pretense of the Second Mile program, which I assumed Penn State was hosting. As an employee (and, in particular, a coach) working for Penn State, the safety of children in this program (while using their facilities) would be one of his responsibilities. If none of the above is the case, then I beg pardon.

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Re: Sandusky Scandal at Penn State [trigger warning]

Postby Malice » Sun Nov 13, 2011 9:52 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:Ignorance of the Law is no excuse, if he knew Sandusky had committed an illegal act, the bystander effect explains what he did, but neither relieves him of moral or legal responsibility. It's an explanation not an excuse.


The bystander effect is when a group of people see a crime and do nothing, because each person assumes one of the others will take care of it. That is not the same thing as seeing a crime, turning to the next person, and saying "This is your problem now," particularly when by "problem" they mean the cover-up. They're both the abdication of responsibility, but in this instance the responsibility was not diffuse (or legally uncertain*) and the abdication was an active, conscious choice.

*
Anyone who is not clear why this ought to have been reported, regardless of the consequences to the reporter, should have his or her head examined. But they should also look at the guidelines issued by Health and Human Services, which dictate what ought to have happened next. These guidelines and most state laws state make adults who have regular contact with children what are called “mandated reporters.” In other words, someone who has knowledge of child sexual abuse is legally obligated to report it to the police, not to the Nationally Famous Head Coach or the Athletic Director. Mandated reporters include teachers, coaches and health care providers, and once the athletic department permitted Sandusky to conduct his “child mentoring activities” on university property, every employee in the football facility became responsible for reporting misconduct against those children. Many states also have laws that make people who fail to report a felony, much less an ongoing crime, prosecutable as accessories after the fact. Indeed, in many states these mandated reporter laws apply to college teachers and coaches in relation to sexual harassment and sexual assault, even though, unlike the boys Sandusky is alleged to have harmed, the students are of legal age to have sex.


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Re: Sandusky Scandal at Penn State [trigger warning]

Postby sourmìlk » Sun Nov 13, 2011 9:55 pm UTC

Angua wrote: You've done it before though, and I wanted to make sure that you realise that one example from your own personal life doesn't invalidate it. (Also, as you've edited it out of my quote, may I remind you that I said in my post I wasn't talking about this case in particular where it was obviously an immoral thing to do).

Okay, I didn't quite get what you were referring to in that last sentence.

Malice wrote:They're both the abdication of responsibility, but in this instance the responsibility was not diffuse (or legally uncertain*) and the abdication was an active, conscious choice.

You can trace the fault of calling it the "bystander effect" to me. I was speculating that the situations were similar because they're each the abdication of responsibility.
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Re: Sandusky Scandal at Penn State [trigger warning]

Postby buddy431 » Mon Nov 14, 2011 4:27 am UTC

Govenor calls for change in law

Contrary to Malice's article, the current mandatory reporter law in Pennsylvania says that people required to report suspected child abuse are only required to report it to "the person in charge", who is ultimately responsible for reporting it to police.

In light of the incident, a number of people are calling for the law to be changed so that any such mandatory reporter is required to report the suspected abuse to police.
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Re: Sandusky Scandal at Penn State [trigger warning]

Postby Diadem » Mon Nov 14, 2011 4:31 am UTC

Requiring by law for people to lose their jobs. Not good.

The law shoud be targetting superiors who fail to report it to the police, not employes who report it to their superiors.
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