To those of you who find Paterno’s firing unjust, let me ask you a hypothetical question:
If it was YOUR child that was being abused by an employee of a University, and you found out after the fact that the abuse had been reported to a member of the University staff, but the police were never called… how would you feel then? Would you feel that the University had failed to protect your child? Would you feel that the informed party should face consequences for their negligence? Would you be screaming for blood?
Think about it.
As human beings, we have a responsibility to protect innocent children, regardless of whether or not they’re our own. Why? Because they can’t protect themselves.
Paterno may have gone to the president of the University, who then did nothing. But Paterno still had a responsibility to report the heinous act to the police. Paterno knew that the claim wasn’t being followed up on, so he should gone to the police himself. But he didn’t. Why? The only conclusion is that he (and the president of the University) were more concerned with protecting the University’s reputation and football program, rather than protecting the child’s welfare. I think that’s sick and shows clear moral bankruptcy. If you don’t agree with me, then think about it as I posited it above. What if it was your kid?
I’m going to reiterate my opinion here – as a human race we have a responsibility to protect our children (regardless of whose kids they are) from abuse, neglect, and harm. Choosing to not report any abuse, neglect, or harm to the appropriate authorities (the police, for example) is criminal and should be punished.