Child Abuse: No Compromise

That The Pittsburgh Foundation and our affiliate, The Pittsburgh Promise, supports unreservedly and unequivocally the swift and decisive actions by the Board of Penn State University, should need no further explanation or discussion.

Penn State Board members, including a former Chairman of the Foundation, Jim Broadhurst, and Pittsburgh civic leader John Surma, have responded appropriately in removing key officials. Obviously they recognize that investigative and legal processes have some way to go before this tragic, shocking matter is concluded.

But their action in their removal of responsible officials sends a clear public message that all of us as citizens should endorse and support: that our children must be protected.  Doing enough is never enough in this regard. As a community every one of us is mandated to ensure the safety and well-being of our children. Those who fail in this basic responsibility should and must be held accountable.

Without wanting to add to the pain suffered by these young victims, I need to emphasize that not a single day of their lives will pass without each and every one of them recalling the abuses they suffered in a trusted environment. We are appalled by the apparent failure of the adults in authority to carry out their most basic and fundamental charge, which was to protect them.

Any expert in the child services field will tell you that an unremitting problem of child abuse is the way adults will close ranks to protect themselves and their interests. As this situation continues to unfold, we must keep our children at the forefront of our concerns, not only the alleged victims of abuse in this case, but all children.

As parents, as adults, as citizens, and as community, we must remember that our voice is their voice. Where it concerns the well-being of our children, there can be no excuses for doing less than all that we can. It is vital always that we stand up and speak out.

Grant Oliphant
President & CEO
The Pittsburgh Foundation