Penn State

In his first interview after being appointed to help lead the Penn State investigation Pennsylvania Secretary of Education and Penn State Trustee Ron Tomalis pledged in TIME that the investigation would be thorough and anything but a whitewash. Based on the Freeh report they commissioned, looks like they did exactly that.

4 Replies to “Penn State”

  1. The Penn State scandal has implications for all schools across the country – from preschool through college.

    Teachers everywhere know that administrators in many schools and colleges place extreme pressure on employees to “tell us [administration] first.” Often complaints are then ignored or swept under the rug.

    In Los Angeles John Deasy is shamelessly trying to blame the Miramonte scandal on laws that don’t exist or “the unions.” However, there are very strict laws in CA protecting school children. These laws require every school employee who suspects abuse to notify outside authorities immediately. Once a serious accusation is made against an educator, that person must be placed on administrative leave until his case is investigated. Once the person is convicted of sex abuse, or any other felony, his license to teach is almost always revoked by the state and then dismissal follows.

    I believe the Los Angeles lawsuits, which name the district and the Miramonte administrators as the defendants (as opposed to “the unions”) will show that administrators ignored the complaints of parents, teachers and students that date back to the 1990’s. It will also show that the offending teachers were allowed to teach behind locked doors with virtually no supervision from the people paid to do so.

    There are strict laws in almost every state protecting schoolchildren from harm. That said, if the people mandated to report suspected abuse fail to do so, children will continue to get hurt. Hopefully, with the investigations at Penn State and Los Angeles Unified, citizens will see that “the unions” have absolutely nothing to do with these heinous crimes. Teachers are the main protectors of children while they are at school and they NEVER protect those who violate this sacred trust.

  2. Linda: I agree with you that a lot of things generally that are blamed on teachers (or teachers unions) are really under the purview of administrators or other people in the system.

    For example, many teachers I know try to grade students fairly and assign them the grades they earn (good or bad). However, I can’t tell you how many times teachers I know have told me about their principals forcing them to raise the bad grade of a student, to appease his parents or avoid a scandal. In fact, one of my friends, who taught at a private school, ultimately decided to quit her job due to frustration with the administration bending over backwards to placate the parents and reward minimal efforts by the students in her classes with good grades.

    Good job, Linda, in pointing out that many things that are blamed on teachers are instead the fault of other actors in the school system.

  3. Thanks, Attorney. I think teachers will find vindication in the courts for these recession-induced attacks.

  4. I think that this tragic story has done a lot to open the eyes of every other institution. The laws set in place I think do deal out just punishments. I would have to admit that if teachers are caught covering up or ignoring abuse deserve to face a stiffer penalty.
    I also have friends who are teachers who worry that they will be overly scrutinized because of the actions of Penn State. I guess that’s what happens to ensure that this sort of thing doesn’t happen again.

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