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Penn State: A Nagging Question

Written by Carey Casey

Date Posted: Friday, 11 November 2011

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This whole thing bothers me ... really bothers me (as I'm sure it bothers all of you).

There’s one question that keeps going through my mind. What if one of the Penn State leaders had asked himself:

Would my response be different if the 10-year-old victim was my son or grandson?” 
 If they did this, I believe their response would have been different, which saddens me.

This young victim and all the victims of this tragic incident were not treated with the dignity and respect that they deserved ... and need.

We know that many children look at other men in their lives as “father-figures.” This means that every man in a leadership role should carry the weight of being that potential father figure.

Coaches and school officials at every level—from pee-wee sports to the NCAA—are in a position to fulfill this awesome responsibility. And that includes me and you.
So if the allegations are true, the leadership at Penn State chose football, and their reputation, over protecting young boys .... And they certainly did not fulfill their moral obligation as father figures.

Children and young adults need encouragement, wisdom and friendship from courageous men—responsible, caring men who truly have the youngster’s best interests in mind.

If a coach, school official, or other leader is not willing to assume this solemn responsibility, he should not be entrusted with the job of transforming young men and women into adults.

So once again I ask...

Would their response have been different if the 10-year-old victim had been their son or grandson?”

And dads, this is an important teachable moment for you to have with your kids... don’t miss the opportunity to have frank, age-appropriate discussions with them to help prevent such abuse from happening in your sphere of influence.

If you have any thoughts on the Penn State scandal or the awesome responsibility of being a father, coach, and/or father-figure, please leave a comment on one of our pages:

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Get more tips and information on talking to your kids about sexual abuse here and here.


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Carey Casey is the CEO of the National Center for Fathering, a nonprofit organization dedicated to changing the culture of fathering in America by enlisting 6.5 million fathers who to make the Championship Fathering Commitment. NCF believes that every child needs a dad they can count on, and uses its resources to inspire and equip men to be the involved fathers, grandfathers and father figures their children need.

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