Dear Ms. Azarchi:
I read with interest and surprise, your letter to the editor in the April 18 Trenton Times. May I suggest that you may want to take the time to read more recent and thorough information than media reports and the Freeh report on the Sandusky scandal. There are several newer reports that have found the previous media and Freeh reporting inaccurate and lacking in many ways. Please take the time to read the reports by Dick Thornburgh, Jim Clemente, and Dr. Fred Berlin. Here are the links to those reports:
I took the time to look up Kidsbridge and the Kidsbridge Museum. They appear to be very worthwhile organizations that can do a lot of good for children. Based on the nature of the organization you lead, I would think you would find these newer reports worthwhile and valuable.
Peggy Glaser, Ph.D.
Rebuttal Letter to the Editor, April 25, 2013
It’s ironic that the director of the Kidsbridge anti-bullying program, based at TCNJ, would write the letter “Rutgers fiasco: A Penn State redux” (April 18), in which she effectively bullies a dead man.
The letter writer makes damaging assertions about Joe Paterno because she obviously bought into the media hype surrounding the Jerry Sandusky scandal. This narrative, which is media-driven, is a direct result of Louis Freeh’s incomplete report, whose validity is now being questioned by prominent experts and top news reporters, such as NBC’s Bob Costas.
There is no evidence to support the theory that Coach Paterno knew that his assistant coach, Jerry Sandusky, was actually a pedophile. In fact, Coach Paterno did report what he believed to be inappropriate behavior exactly as prescribed by university policy.
The writer would be wise to read “Critique of the Freeh Report: The Rush to Injustice Regarding Joe Paterno” by world-renowned child sex crimes expert Jim Clemente, commissioned by the Paterno family to set the record straight. Then, I believe she will want to re-evaluate her remarks. Clemente’s report can be found at paterno.com. This is extremely important reading for anyone who works with children.
Coincidentally, the letter writer’s remarks seem to closely echo the sentiments of TCNJ interim student affairs director Vicky Triponey, who is former head of student affairs at Penn State and a vocal adversary of Joe Paterno.
-- Brian Masella,
The writer played football at Penn State for Joe Paterno in the early 1970s.
The original Letter to the Editor, April 18, 2013, Trenton Times
Rutgers fiasco: A Penn State redux
The Rutgers University basketball fiasco is déjà vu all over again. It’s yet another classic tale of bullies, victims and institutionalized bystander behavior by adults who should know better. So, while the press focuses on the bullies and the victims, it’s the role of the bystander at both institutions that should be examined more closely.
As with Penn State, where football coach Joe Paterno was arguably an unchecked bully, whose behavior was tolerated for decades in the name of profit, Rutgers basketball coach Mike Rice was allegedly an abusive bully for years and Athletic Director Tim Pernetti seemingly played the role of bystander.
At both schools, the bystanders in their respective administrative positions failed to protect kids. They apparently stood by, said nothing, and made the active decision to deem abusive behavior against kids an acceptable risk.
Unfortunately, we are largely a nation of bystanders. Businesses, government agencies and academic institutions count on us to say nothing and look the other way. Our bystander culture will not change until we as parents, taxpayers and concerned citizens make a commitment to teach kids, teens, undergrads and adults how to stand up and speak out.
But more so, we have to teach ourselves to be “upstanders.” We have to show zero tolerance for institutionalized bullying not only of our children, but against those adults, aka whistleblowers, who call attention to abuse in the first place.
One person could have reported these abuses and bullying — months if not years sooner. Just one person could have made a difference by standing up. But it will take more than one upstander. Until we increase our upstander numbers, our children will continue to pay the price.
-- Lynne Azarchi,
The writer is executive director of Kidsbridge (kidsbridgemuseum.org)