Penn State Made a Mistake Yes, but We All Make Mistakes
We are Penn State
I am a Pennsylvania girl, born and raised. So here goes; I feel a need to reflect on the Penn State scandal. I must begin with the fact that I agree with and understand the importance of holding the powers that be accountable for their part in this scandal. I am also aware of this cover-up's devastating imprint on many. It is a heartbreaking and sad life-changing issue that will impede lives for years to come. I am utterly sympathetic to the utter disgrace of these actions by those entrusted with educating our future workforce and leaders. This horrible neglect and covering of abuses of young people is, in a word, wrong!
I am equally troubled that we continue to destroy the lives of many young people following newfound dreams in the wake of this storm. I would never condone the actions of leaders who denied the need to act and act quickly to protect innocent victims. I find it heart-wrenching because they have taken care of that and were involved. The courts have spoken; the sinner is paying his price. Those that had a part in these sins, by omission, or blatant ignorance, have met with their punishments. And Joe Pa has passed from this life; his reputation is in ruin, and his family and previous students are in pain.
This last point saddens me. I suppose you could say I have mixed feelings about how they handled the situation. Yes, Joe Pa was part of the disgrace, but he was also not the physical offender, and he did much for the students and the future of those attending Penn State. He was also a big part of the school, becoming a unified family with strength and spirit. I do not believe in any way he was blameless, but he suffered an extreme attack, and we are to forgive even the greatest of sins.
Never should they repeat and they need to be addressed, but to continue to make innocents suffer is, again in a word, wrong. I find it an additional disgrace to punish more young people for the fault of the older generations, errors.
Forgiveness is Key to a Future of Hope
Not allowing such a horrible offense to disappear is essential as it severely impacted the past, present, and future, a stain that has impacted many lives.
But we are still impacting the lives of hundreds, if not thousands, of innocents that had dreams of attending Penn State. They had football dreams from the youngest of ages. They worked tirelessly to prepare for a chance to be on a football team in their college years. Now, these students who have warranted a scholarship or option to further their life goals using football or an accredited institution are in serious upheaval.
These kids deserve a chance. Losing even the smallest of financial support affected some. Sometimes, the dream of education can go away if a school's accreditation is under consideration or removed, as it may be the only school available to them. Why is it fair to make more young people suffer?
Why are we not aware that even with sins of a part, it is possible to forgive? It is important to remember, and it is necessary to heal and move on. This offense remains an issue that is damaging future lives, and it continues to be wrong.
Our God is forgiving. He is the final judge, and He has forgiven you. We can learn from Him. We must allow the future to heal in His love, and we can create a new Penn State once again with integrity. So many have come from this institution and are Christians changing the world in their daily walks. Here's to hope we allow more students to learn and grow; after all, God doesn't want us all in one place. We have work to do for Him.
© 2012 Kathy Henderson