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Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Mother of All Teachable Moments

I don't want to take the recently uncovered (and still alleged) heinous crimes at Penn State and convert them into some kind of detached pedagogical discourse, such as, "How to Use the Penn State Child Sex Scandal in the Classroom," but I did want to point out that Penn State has a captive and engaged (even riotous) student body right now. If ever there was an opportunity for educators at Penn State to step up and teach these students right from wrong, here it is.

Joe Paterno seems to have missed his opportunity, as did the school president. The lesson is clear: when you have knowledge of a crime, and you are in a position of power, doing the bare minimum is not enough. Complying with the law and doing the right thing are not always the same. (That works both ways, of course.)

This incident is a tragedy first and foremost. Secondarily, It's also an opportunity to teach a generation of kids what to do if they find themselves in this situation. And it's important to point out that almost no one in the Penn State situation did the right thing.

You can win 400 football games and still not make the right call when it counts.


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