By Alyssa Mease
I’m from Penn State Country; my neighbors proudly wave their Nittany Lions flag, and cars up and down my street have those blue paw print magnets on their trunks. A bunch of my friends from high school go to the university and have been posting things on Facebook all week about the child sex abuse scandal.
Unfortunately it seems like the true crime has been forgotten.
My friends are posting things about how Joe Paterno, or JoePa, has been unfairly ousted even though he met his lawful obligations. Some of my friends have posted a letter to “Non-Staters” about how only students from Penn State could possibly understand how a football coach could brighten the lives of thousands of students.
So maybe there should be a letter to the “Staters” from us “Non-Staters.” (Though, maybe we would be the “Stater Haters?”) I’ll write it, and you can post it on Facebook and thank me later.
We know you don’t understand. Usually we spend all day defending our decision to go to a smaller school, with smaller class sizes and a little thing known as professor-student relationships. And right now, we’d like for you to know this: You go to a university that has a pretty good football team. And although you’d like to believe they are the best in the country, they haven’t won much recently. You’re not the only school with a football team. You’re also not the only school with employees who care more about a winning record than an innocent child.
Let me briefly mention those employees, the ones you all “love” and “know” so well: They get paid a lot more money than you will ever make in your lifetime.
It is their job to take pictures with you, to attend other sporting events and to protect all people — students or not —who are entrusted to their care.
Nobody is accusing all of you “Staters” of supporting abuse, but we are accusing you of putting this man on a pedestal.
Taking a picture with him, briefly chatting on the way to class or seeing him on the sideline of a football field each week does not constitute a relationship.
You do not know JoePa.
Nobody wants to see a legendary figure go, but even fewer people want to see an innocent child allegedly get raped and then forgotten.
Joe Paterno is not being made an example of because he is such a celebrity; he is being made an example of because he works at a university and should have had the brains to call the police.
WE ARE… hoping you stop defending scumbags.
WE ARE… proud to go to an institution known more for academics than sports.
WE ARE… upset that you seem to be forgetting about the victims.