Could the Penn State Scandal Have Happened at UMass???

(This is just a sad situation – promoted by Rob “EaBo Clipper” Eno)

As a proud Penn State graduate, I am deeply saddened by the child sex abuse scandal that we’ve all been following these past few days.   Last night, the Penn State Board of Trustees terminated President Spanier and Coach Paterno’s employment for having not done enough to report the alleged assault by former Penn State football defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.

All the reading I’ve done on this tragic crime indicates that Coach Paterno had no legal responsibility to report the incident to law enforcement in PA.  He reported the incident up his chain of command, including to the Vice President who oversaw the campus police, but did not directly report the incident to any law enforcement agency.

While he may have failed his moral obligation by ANY measure, sadly he met his legal obligation in the Commonwealth of PA.

Additionally, according to the PA Grand Jury report, there was an eyewitness to a different incident involving Mr. Sandusky and another young boy.  That witness was a janitor in the athletic complex.

My initial research on the mandatory reporting laws in the Commonwealth of MA, adopted in 2003 after the church scandal, indicates that in our great Commonwealth neither Coach Paterno nor the janitor would have been a mandatory reporter here either.

While the events at Penn State are sickening and tragic, let us use them as a learning opportunity on how to better safeguard the children of our Commonwealth.  In that light, I will soon be filing legislation that will add a category to the list of mandatory reporters in the Commonwealth.  That category will be ALL employees of the Commonwealth… from janitor to football coach to university president with no exception.

This has been a very emotional and trying several days for me.  I have personally met Mr. Sandusky, and even donated to the Second Mile Foundation which he started to provide help to disadvantaged youth, but which he appears to have grotesquely used as a feeder system for his victims.  I have reached out to my colleagues in the House with the hope that they’ll support me in my efforts to strengthen the mandatory reporting law here in the Commonwealth, so that none of us ever has to question if we’ve “done enough” to protect our children.

Rep. Kevin Kuros

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