Simple Wisdom from Penn State: If You See Child Abuse, Stop It!I’ve been a little flabbergasted by the whole Penn State child sex abuse scandal. But not for the reasons others have been upset by it (for loss of a long-time coach — way to keep things in perspective there, folks).

But I have to say, I’m even more astounded by the alleged behavior of assistant coach Mike McQueary. According to the LA Times, “McQueary told a grand jury that he witnessed former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky sexually assaulting a 10-year-old boy in a campus shower in 2002.” But rather than interrupt and stop it immediately, he simply reported what he saw to legendary coach Joe Paterno.

Paterno also didn’t do anything about it, other than to pass it up the chain of command to Penn State athletic director Tim Curley.

Who also didn’t do anything about it.

What is wrong with a chain of otherwise apparently responsible adults who fail to report an eyewitness account of child sexual abuse?

So I’ll make this incredibly simple for any adult or future adult reading this entry:

If you see child sex abuse occurring — PUT AN END TO IT IMMEDIATELY.

Don’t freakin’ pass it up the chain of command so that a half dozen aging white men can decide whether to do the right thing or not and report it, or do the wrong thing and temporarily extend their careers and livelihood.

That’s the reason Paterno was fired and McQueary, in my opinion, should also be fired. For not doing anything to stop the alleged abuse that was occurring, and in McQueary’s case — right in front of his very eyes.

You don’t need to convene a grand jury to stop child sex abuse. You don’t need to have a meeting of the board of directors.

You simply need to do the right thing, grow a backbone, step up, and stop the abuse.

I hope every one of these guys never has a good night’s sleep for the rest of their lives for “passing the buck” when allegedly multiple children were involved. They should be ashamed of themselves for keeping this under wraps, for not calling in the police immediately, and for not stopping the abuse while it was occurring right under their own noses.

Because I’m certain each one of these victims will not be sleeping well either for the rest of their lives. It’s a tragic story, made all the worse by adults failing to take the adult responsibility for protecting children.

Read the full story: Penn State puts Mike McQueary, who reported sexual abuse, on leave



View Comments / Leave a Comment

This post currently has 16 comments.
You can read the comments or leave your own thoughts.


No trackbacks yet to this post.

    Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 11 Nov 2011
    Published on All rights reserved.

APA Reference
Grohol, J. (2011). Simple Wisdom from Penn State: If You See Child Abuse, Stop It!. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 26, 2015, from


Family &

Recommended Books

  • Tending the Family Heart
  • Connecting Your Family in Disconnecting Times, a parenting e-book by Marie Hartwell-Walker, Ed.D.
  • Purchase Child Psychology and Development for Dummies now!
  • by Laura L. Smith, Ph.D. and Charles H. Elliott, Ph.D.

Latest Articles

Recent Comments
  • Chet Bush: Thank you Professor Betsy Hoza for your ‘much needed Study on the ‘impotence of...
  • Lucy: Hi Shawna – you really need to get away from your father. You also need to realise that nothing he says...
  • kazchaz: This is helpful, very much so and it would be great to hear from you again, with updates on your progress,...
  • sambo: I really need some help im so depressed and anxious I cant work or leave the house im on antidepressants and...
  • Concerned: My father was a narcissist. He basically ruined my mother’s life and she ended up dying young of...
Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter

Find a Therapist
Enter ZIP or postal code

Users Online: 12435
Join Us Now!