Penn state riot is embarrassing

A sex abuse cover-up should concern students more than a coach losing his job.

by Editorial board

Why do so many college students care so deeply about the wrong things?
When the Penn State Board of Trustees decided to fire head coach Joe Paterno and President Graham Spanier, students took to the streets in a riot. They damaged property and hurt people âÄî sure, they condemned the sex-abuse scandal, but the louder cry of injustice was directed at the trusteesâÄô decision to prevent a football coach from finishing the season.
One student said she felt âÄúabsolutely disgusted. From a studentâÄôs perspective, itâÄôs like, where do we go from here?âÄù
Disgust is a good word for it. We feel a little disgusted ourselves that the knee-jerk reaction of a group of college-educated people would be outraged at the blow to their football program rather than at the cover up of the sexual abuse of children.
We recognize that the riot was most likely a knee-jerk reaction âÄî no thought, just anger. They toppled light posts, chanted support for Paterno and pelted reporters with rocks.
We hope that as the Sandusky case moves forward, those students will choose to hold their schoolâÄôs leaders accountable for what they did âÄî or, in PaternoâÄôs case, didnâÄôt do.
Of the vulnerable members of society, children have the least control over what happens to them. When Sandusky was seen abusing a young boy in 2002, he should have been turned in. Every person who saw or heard of the incident should have reported it.
There should be ramifications for those people who failed to report the abuse. If losing their job is all thatâÄôs possible, so be it. Students should be protesting to secure that accountability. ItâÄôs deplorable that they chose to do the opposite.