Don’t all school employees know they ought to report child abuse?
It is horrifying to read a newly released report charging that officials at Penn State closed their eyes to clear and disturbing evidence that Jerry Sandusky was abusing children within the campus confines and using his longtime affiliation with the vaunted Penn State football program as a lure.
“Our most saddening and sobering finding is the total disregard for the safety and welfare of Sandusky’s child victims by the most senior leaders at Penn State,” said former FBI Director Louis Freeh, who was hired by Penn State trustees to look the scandal and produce the report. “The most powerful men at Penn State failed to take any steps for 14 years to protect the children who Sandusky victimized.”
The scathing new details about the failure of Penn State leadership to report suspicions of child abuse may represent a violation of the federal Clery Act, which mandates that all colleges and universities that participate in federal financial aid programs keep and disclose information about crime on and near campus.
The law honors the memory of Jeanne Clery, a Lehigh University freshman raped and murdered in her dorm in 1986. Her parents learned later that students were unaware of 38 violent crimes on the campus in the three years prior to their 19-year-old daughter’s murder. They joined other campus crime victims and pushed Congress to pass a law that requires students to be alerted to crime on and around campus. The law mandates that schools make the campus aware of crimes that pose threats to students and employees.
–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog