Editor: Penn State is in the news — not for its academic excellence, not for its athletic prowess, but for its corrupt and corrupting practices.

Again a revered institution has taken that cynical and naïve path in pursuit of respectability. Is it not patently clear that protecting aberrant, immoral and illegal behavior in the name of polishing your institutional image is wrong and ridiculous?

We have, alas, all too many examples of such wrong-minded behavior in the educational, religious and corporate domains that are meant to be beacons of light in our society. Is it a cultural trend that institutions whose mission is the preparation of our youth for the good life, developing their intellectual skills, their character and their professional or business acumen are permitting, I would go so far as to say sponsoring, the abuse of children?

Who are the most culpable in these matters? I would say the perpetrators are not — they are disturbed and harmful to others and they should be treated for their ailments, if possible, and kept apart from those they harm. That can be rather simply done by the people in charge.

Those people in charge who protect the rights of the perpetrators to abuse others are the conscious and deliberate wrongdoers. As they protect the abusers and give them access to their victims, they disgrace rather than enhance their institutions; they ruin the lives of the abused and walk proud.

Let this debacle remind those in power who have been tempted to cover up outrageous, dangerous behaviors in their midst, to end this shameful perversion of their leadership.

Times-Tribune, November 14, 2011

Cover-up enhances degree of shame
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