Friday, March 1

Response to Joel Myers

Mr. Myers made the false statement that PSU is a world leader in child abuse prevention.  I very much take issue with that statement because he couldn't be more wrong.

Dear Joel,
Thank you for your letter.

Much of what you said is true, except for the most important issue at hand -- protecting children.

Penn State is not a world leader in preventing child abuse.  It matters not if policies are changed at Penn State that make children safer.  It matters not if every college in the country follows Penn State's lead in reforming their policies to make children safer.

The cold hard facts are that child abuse on college campuses are rare occurrences.  The majority of child abuse takes place in the home.   The most typical means of discovering child abuse is through the report of a social worker, a law enforcement officer, a healthcare worker, and/or a family member.  Reports by teachers are near the bottom of the list and most assuredly, reports from college professors and college coaches wouldn't even register a blip. 

It is absolutely clear to anyone who understands child abuse, that what happened at Penn State had nothing to do with Penn State, and everything to do with Sandusky and the professionals who are trained to detect and report child abuse.

Those individuals worked for DPW, CYS, and The Second Mile.

As an alumnus of Penn State, I am disappointed that the University has decided to not make any statement about the responsibility of the trained professionals in stopping child abuse. 

Joel, let me put it bluntly.  Penn State's silence about the reforms needed to Pennsylvania's child protection system is enabling another 40 children to be murdered this year and another 3,000 to be abused.

Your words of Penn State's world leadership in preventing child abuse ring hollow for every child who will face brutality and, possibly, death because Penn State refuses to say a word about the system that is not protecting its children.

It's time to quit patting yourselves on the back for throwing money at the charities and call for real reforms to Pennsylvania's failing child protection system.

And it's happening in your neighborhood, Joel.
I will soon share the tragic story of a family whose lives have been literally destroyed by the system.  A father whose only wish was for his children to be safe.  A daughter, whose sexual abuse by her mother, caused her to attempt suicide multiple times.  And caseworkers whose only concerns were to keep their caseload low.

Their story started in Mifflin County,  moved through Clearfield and Bradford Counties, and is going on today in Centre County.

How is Penn State helping this family?  This girl?

Think about that the next time you pat Penn State on the back for its world leadership in child abuse prevention.

For the glory,
Ray Blehar


  1. Thank you Ray for making THE important point that everyone has been oblivious to. All the money, and all the well-intentioned efforts by Penn State will do very little to stop child sex abuse if state organizations which exist to protect children from these crimes fail, as they did in the Sandusky matter. Reform is needed there and not at Penn State. Jim Clemente's report should be desseminated and studied by anyone who deals with children.
    Ray always is always able to see the forest in spite of the trees when no one else can.

  2. I agree. Even assuming for the sake of argument that Paterno et al. did something wrong, the football team has BEEN punished, Paterno's reputation has been destroyed, etc. My point is, given all this, Penn State would be insane to try to cover up another child molestor should that situation arise, and so whatever damage they did, it's not like they can do any more. As you said, if the other guilty parties don't get their due, the children of Pennsylvania really won't be any safer than they were before the Sandusky scandal. (I'm not saying Paterno et al. did anything seriously wrong; I'm just saying that even if they did, I don't think the Penn State aspect of the scandal is particularly relevant anymore).