The Penn State University sex-abuse scandal certainly seems unique. College-football defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky (shown at left) could have been investigated as early as 1995 for abusing young boys, but instead was allowed to commit his crimes for another 10 years. School athletic director Tim Curley and senior vice president for business and finance Gary Schultz face charges of lying to a grand jury investigating Sandusky, and university president Graham Spanier has been fired. And even more headline-grabbing, famed head football coach Joe Paterno has also been discharged. While not accused of any criminally actionable behavior, the gridiron legend is condemned for failing to do enough to stop the abuse after becoming aware of it.
Yet, in reality, the only truly unique aspect of this tragic story is that it was reported at all.
It may be hard to imagine a sex scandal more troubling than the one we now see engulfing Penn State. Yet far larger is one we don’t see: Child sexual abuse in American schools that is rampant, regularly covered-up and rarely reported.
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