School Climate & Safety News in Brief

Penn State Report Describes ‘Shocking’ Inaction

By Bryan Toporek — July 17, 2012 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Former FBI Director Louis Freeh’s report about the child-sex-abuse scandal involving Pennsylvania State University’s famed football program sent a loud and clear message to school administrators at all levels: Athletics can never come before the safety of students.

The report, released last week, accused Penn State administrative leaders of “total and consistent disregard … for the safety and welfare of Sandusky’s victims,” referring to former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, who last month was convicted of 45 counts of sexual abuse of 10 boys.

Penn State University students gather around a television in the student union on the school's main campus to listen to a press conference held by former FBI Director Louis Freeh. He issued a report chronicling administrators' failure to protect children in the child sex-abuse scandal connected to the university's storied football program.

Despite learning of sex-abuse accusations against Mr. Sandusky in 1998, four Penn State leaders held off alerting the university’s board of trustees once the district attorney filed no charges against the assistant coach.

After a graduate assistant coach allegedly witnessed Mr. Sandusky assaulting a young boy in a shower on campus in 2001, the four men decided against telling the state department of welfare in favor of offering Mr. Sandusky “professional help.”

The report concludes that the four men “concealed critical facts” from the authorities for fear of any potential negative publicity. At a July 12 press conference, Mr. Freeh characterized the officials’ inaction as “callous and shocking.”

A version of this article appeared in the July 18, 2012 edition of Education Week as Penn State Report Describes ‘Shocking’ Inaction

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
IT Infrastructure & Management Webinar
From Chaos to Clarity: How to Master EdTech Management and Future-Proof Your Evaluation Processes
The road to a thriving educational technology environment is paved with planning, collaboration, and effective evaluation.
Content provided by Instructure
Special Education Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table - Special Education: Proven Interventions for Academic Success
Special education should be a launchpad, not a label. Join the conversation on how schools can better support ALL students.
Special Education K-12 Essentials Forum Innovative Approaches to Special Education
Join this free virtual event to explore innovations in the evolving landscape of special education.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School Climate & Safety Explainer Restorative Justice in Schools, Explained
What is restorative justice, and how can it be implemented in schools?
1 min read
Generic school hallway with lockers
Some districts have integrated more restorative justice practices into their disciplinary structure. Experts describe what restorative justice looks like and how it can be implemented in schools.
iStock/Getty
School Climate & Safety Video 3 Steps for Schools to Use Relationships as a 'Prevention Strategy'
Research has shown that strong school relationships can be a prevention strategy for chronic absenteeism, misbehavior, and other challenges.
7 min read
Four high school students work together on an experiment in an AP chemistry class at a high school in Los Angeles, Calif. on Wednesday, January 22, 2020.
Four high school students work together on an experiment in an AP chemistry class at a high school in Los Angeles, Calif. on Wednesday, January 22, 2020.
Allison Shelley/EDUimages
School Climate & Safety Uvalde Shooting Victims' Families Sue State Police, Settle With City for $2M
The families say they also agreed a $2 million settlement with the city, which will be used on better training for local police.
3 min read
Crosses are surrounded by flowers and other items at a memorial on June 9, 2022, for the victims of a shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. The families of 19 people who were killed or injured in the shooting and their attorneys are set to make an announcement, Wednesday, May 22, 2024.
Crosses are surrounded by flowers and other items at a memorial on June 9, 2022, for the victims of a shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. The families of 19 people who were killed or injured in the shooting and their attorneys are set to make an announcement, Wednesday, May 22, 2024. Friday will mark the two-year anniversary of the shooting where a gunman killed 19 students and two teachers.
Eric Gay/AP
School Climate & Safety Opinion How Do Restorative Practices Work?
Traditional punitive measures tend to reap more misbehavior.
13 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
iStock/Getty