The case of sexual abuse committed by Jerry Sandusky at Penn State University revealed massive failures in the educational facility’s structure. Concealment of abuse has been cited to occur as early as 1971, after which the victim was threatened to stay silent regarding the events (Leavy, 2021). Reports of the case also outlined that it was during this period that staff at the university, including the head coach Joe Paterno, became aware of the situation but did not address it. In 1977, Second Mile was founded and aimed to help youth that is at risk. Sandusky had worked at the foundation as a defensive coordinator until his retirement in 1999. Meanwhile, incidents continue to be observed but remain concealed or undiscussed.
Even with the involvement of police and detectives in 1998, there was a failure to deter or stop Sandusky, who continued to have access to Penn State facilities and administrators of the university had dropped all investigations. Similarly, Sandusky was not removed from the Second Mile charity and was only instructed to distance himself from children. It wasn’t until 2011 that the case made progress. Sandusky and others involved and employed at Penn State, such as Tim Curley, Gary Schultz, and Graham Spanier, were charged (Bennett, 2021). The sequence of events reveals how the failure of not only the judicial system but the structure of the university allowed Sandusky to continue perpetrating abuse.
Because of the severity of the situation, any issue management must focus on providing safety for the victims and the prevention of any chance of further or similar incidents. Communication was lacking severely throughout the investigation. This was mostly due to the fact that witnesses feared coming forward due to the potential of being terminated, while administrators refused to do so due to their status within the university. As such, it is vital that victims and witnesses are able to safely communicate with university administrators, unbiased third parties, or even law enforcement. Similarly, individuals that hold more power within the institute must be subjected to more transparency.
Bennett, D. (2021). Ten years after the Sandusky scandal, what did Penn State — and the nation — learn? The Washington Post. Web.
Leavy, J. (2021). Timeline: The child sex abuse case of Jerry Sandusky. The Daily Collegian. Web.