(This was originally posted to the Central Florida Penn State Alumni Association’s Facebook group by an alumna. I thought it reflected a sentiment that should be shared among as many Penn Staters and Penn State fans as possible. I’ve made minor edits to better format it for this medium. Thanks, Susan!)
This is a little long and it was written after the emotional experience of attending Penn State’s first game under its new coach.
I decided on Friday night to remove the blue ribbon with our lion’s head on it from the back of our Santa Fe where it had been since November. I did this after much soul-searching for reasons that follow.
As many of you know, I had been an early intervention and preschool teacher for over 25 years prior to retirement in October 2010. I have worked with young children who have been abused and I believe that sexual abuse is perhaps the most insidious act that can be perpetrated upon a child.
With that said, I feel the Penn State Community has taken extraodinarily meaningful steps to assist victims of abuse. These include raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for RAINN and organizations devoted to victims of rape and abuse; establishment of the Child Abuse Center at Hershey Medical Center (our Medical School); requirement of improved staff training regarding abuse for all PSU employees; and other programs to assist the public in becoming better aware of the signs of potential child abuse. There was a moment of prayer prior to the Nebraska game. Moments of silence before both the Blue/white game and the season opener. Our football players have blue ribbons on their helmets.
Now it is time to let this horrible open wound begin to heal without constantly picking at its scabs! None of us will ever forget what one evil man did to so many innocent children. NOR SHOULD WE! It is time to let the criminal justice system take center stage and let the entire truth come out no matter where the chips may fall.
I hate the move forward terminology being foisted on us by the BoT. Yes, we must go on, but we cannot erase all the good that has come from our past. The days ahead will not be easy, but I take comfort in the fact that WE ARE PENN STATE and we will continue to accomplish good things in spite of the BoT’s constant mea culpa mindset.