Sunday, November 20, 2011

Do Leaders Have Moral Obligations?

During the last couple of weeks the media has covered a story from Penn State regarding a coach who has been accused of sexually abusing a number of boys over many years.

We will discuss this event in class using the following resources:

Once we discuss this in class your job is to write a response to the following questions which have been taken from the NY Times post:

  • Tell us how far you think responsibility extends for leaders like Joe Paterno.
  • Do they generally have a moral obligation to take action in cases that do not necessarily fall under their specific authority? Or is that too high a standard?
  • Is it enough to have major achievements and a great deal of respect?
  • Or does leadership carry with it higher responsibilities?

32 comments:

  1. From my point of view, i think they are all responsible for not stepping up and helping the boy or telling the police. Sandusky’s a nasty man for even doing such horrible acts towards just little children. The janitor, Jim should have said something just on what he witnessed, he knew that it wasn’t right in anyway, yet he still chose to walk away like nothing! Which lead on to another victims, and much more. McQueary, a grown adult, clearly See's what is happening to such a innocent boy. He did not approach sandusky, he didn’t stop him, instead he called his father rather then calling the police. He never reported what had happened, he tells the coach, Joe Paterno, and he doesn’t report it. He; himself acted on like it never happened. As if it was nothing to make a issue about.They are all responsible for not stepping up, and not protecting those little boys. They’re responsible for the other victims as well, for if they had said something, and spoke for the children and had stopped it, it would have prevented so much, and Sandusky would have been locked away a long time ago.

    --Xzilary

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  2. I think Mike Mcqueary should be the one that takes the blunt of the punishment. If Mcqueary actually witnessed a rape scenario and failed to go to the police then it would be his flat that it continued. I think that leaders should be held more responsible for their actions because more people look up to them. People know what accomplishments Sandusky has made, witch is why they do not take him to the police. They do not want to be known as the people that got that couch locked up. I think that they should have went to the police no matter what the situation would be.

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  3. Penn sates.


    I think that The whole chain of Penn state coaches and graduates are to blame. For them being leaders and taking on a big group of kids of all ages to help and show them a different life and come upon a situation like this and not call the police is ridiculous. when Jerry Sandusky was a coach in 1969 and started the organization 8 years later was to help unless fortunate children of all ages not to traumatize them, and take away there dignity. I feel that that Jim and mike are also the main ones to blame, if they would have put there self in that little boys shoes and try to understand how that child felt.

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  4. The Penn State is a case where there are several boys were being raped by Jerry Sandusky in the locker rooms in the collage. He was a defencive line coach. He is being accused of raping young boys. He is now fired from being a defencive line coach. The people who are witnessed it and didn’t say anything to any one for a while should be convicted with conspiracy because they new what was going on but they were just trying to protect the coach’s reputation. The little boys that were involved in this situation should sew the witnesses for not saying anything because there children were probably scared to say anything because didn’t want to loose there privileges.

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  5. Penn State is having this controversy that defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was abusing and rapping 8-12 year old boys in the locker room. Mike McQueary who was a graduate assistant at PSU walked in and witnessed Sandusky rapping a young boy. Right then and there he should of stopped it and called the police. But he decided to tell Joe Paterno and Paterno told the president. Should he have done more probably, but he didn’t. Just think how messed up how these kids are now, knowing that they couldn’t do anything about it. The university should have done more than covering it up and trying to forget about what happened. Now its all coming back down on the university. The head coach of PSU which was Joe Paterno was fired because he didn’t tell the police. Just think of the students that looked up to him and who admired him. Now I’m sure the football team is going to lose all there recruits and the reputation the school is going to have. I’m just saying that its pretty messed up that nobody would say a gosh darn thing.

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  6. I personally think that Joe Pataro could have done way more then what he did. they could of all did a lot more then what they did. Once they seen nothing was being done they could of gone by themselves and told the police. I think they were to worried about they rep of the school that's why they didn't do any thing. When i hear things like this it makes me what to throw up it gets me sick to my stomach Thinking what was going thou the kids head and not knowing what to do. It gets me mad that nobody told anybody about this those kids did nothing to deserve this...

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  7. The responsibility of letting police know about a child molester is something every one has. Joe Paterno, Jim calhoun, and Mike McQueary are all guilty of not complying to this responsibility. I think it’s sick how they saw something as atrocious as this and not tell the board themselves. I guess at least Mike told Joe, but sadly Joe felt the need to hide what really happened. It would have been way better if they would have come forward, they could have stopped it earlier. Because of these four men fourteen children, fourteen, will have some horrific psychological scars for the rest of their lives. If it was up to me Jim and Mike would be sentenced at least 5 years, joe for 8, and Jerry deserves to be put on death row.

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  8. Well I honestly think that they have a major responsibility to tell the authorities about crimes. It can kinda go either way because it is there responsibility to do something about the knowledge that they know to tell someone, but in the other case it is kinda out of there authority because they should at least tell higher authorities so that they can handle the situation. Leadership can be carried on higher responsibilities but at times that it should be higher authorities responsibilities because that’s there responsibility. Honestly it is enough to have major achievements and a great deal of respect. I think it should of been told to the police or some sort of high ranking authority but, they were to stupid to do anything about it.

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  9. I believe that Joe Paterno is greatly responsible, when he was faced with the facts andreports against his fellow coworkers, he should have reported it straight to the police and heshould have confronted his coworker, which was Jerry Sandusky, and he probably should havecalled a meeting to dismiss him and he should have begun legal action, instead he decided to tryand cover it up and twist the story. Therefore he should have received intense punishment aswell. He knew that this was taking place, victims came forward, and many separate allegationssurfaced, he knew that there was foul actions going on with Sandusky and he had a moral andlegal obligation to reporting them, but he didn’t, so he deserves to be rightly punished.

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  10. My personal opinion on Joe Paterno is that he had some fault because he tried to change the story when Mike McQueary told him what had happened. Although McQueary told Paterno the situation he should of told the police. Sandusky is a disgusting man who deserves prison time. And how it took this long to expose him and his disgusting actions surprises me as well because he should of been exposed the first time this had accrued. Jim Calhoun has some fault as well because he was the first that we know about to witness this happening. Calhoun should of went to the police right then but he did not. If he would of told the police at this time he could have stopped Sandusky from molesting other children.

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  11. I think everyone involved in this case is responsible not just because there leaders but because their human beings. But no one wants to be responsible for the downfall of someone who is higher up then they are. If this was just some normal guy he would’ve been put in jail right away but people who have more authority also get away with more. And if those people had come forward everyone would have blamed them for the coaches being fired the same way they rioted when it happened. People care more about themselves then they do others and that’s why all of this happened the way it did, if just one of these people had stopped to think about what was right instead of what was convenient this would’ve never happened.

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  12. I think Joe has just as much responsibility as Jerry. What Jerry did was disgusting, but for Joe to hid or try to cover up the fact that his assistant coach was rapping little boys was just as bad. Even knowing that this was going on and not reporting it to the cops is a federal crime as well. Anyone that knows anything about a crime that is going on is obligated to tell the authorities even if its not that big of a deal. Just because you are high up there doesn’t mean your a very good leader. The more responsibilities you have can make you the better leader. You can have done a great deal of good for someone or for a lot of people, but one wrong can be the deal breaker for everything you have achieved in life.

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  13. I think that leaders do have a higher obligation and responsibility to do the right thing because society looks up to them. To society the leaders are the role models,there the people especially kids look up to. When ever you ask a child what they want to be when they grow up they answer doctor,lawyer,president. But a lot of these kids idealize celebrity's that they see all the time on television. Leaders hold a higher position of authority then most others. You always hear them say how they want to do whats right in the community and how there trying to protect these kids and give them better lives. But at what cost? No innocent child should be harmed in any way shape or form. There are children that have gone threw so much they don't need to be hurt anymore. But what really gets to me is how these remodels can go on television and do commercials with children and ask people to help there organizations to give these kids better lives or help cure there diseases and then turn around and hurt them. As a mother I really feel strongly about this because I have two boys and i don't know what i would do if someone ever hurt them in any way. And this right here disgusts me for the simple fact that your hurting an innocent little child. I constantly worry about my kids and what someone might do to them when I'm not around. When you hurt a child your hurting there identity,your hurting who they are and what they will become in the future. Some commit suicide and others fall into deep depression or hurt themselves because they cant deal with the pain. A lot of children that have been abused act out in some way. So in my eyes they should all be charged with something whether they actually did the abuse or not because just knowing about something like this and not doing anything about it is just as bad as the one doing it.

    -Chelsea

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  14. Anthony J. StrickerNovember 28, 2011 at 8:08 AM

    The how thing with penn state is freaking stupid I believe that everyone that knew about this should have said something and because these people leaders it just made everyone looked down on them and penn State as well And I also believe that if they would have done something sooner then what they did do they could have saved a few little boys from that horror.

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  15. I believe that Jerry Sandusky, Graham Spanier, Joe Paterno, and Mike McQueary all shared the same responsibility as any other citizen of the US, member of any organization, or any other collegiate association bares: to protect our most vulnerable citizens. Those being children, seniors and those with disabilities. The virtuous attachment these men held in public should be carried into their private lives. It is as a society which we share the responsibility to ensure that criminals don't go unpunished. I feel that all of these men should be stripped of any attained honor, and/or honorable position they held, as the mirage created before the public audience obviously was rendered in their private lives.

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  16. Leaders do have moral obligations, especially when you are a college football icon and the most winning-est coach in football history. I don’t blame Joe Paterno for what happen because he didn’t do anything like sandusky, but If you know about something that is both illegal and wrong you should take it to the authorities. I understand that he probably didnt want to cause embararsment to the university and him self, but i think he made it worse on both. He went from being this great coach at a awesome university that everybody wants to go to, especially football players, to someone that everybody is hating on and now the university is going to hurt because of recruits not wanting to go there anymore.

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  17. Penn State, to me is one of those big time colleges that no matter what happens there they will still be known, either as a bad or a good school. Recently at Penn State they found out that people of Penn State have been hiding something from the NCAA it was a sexual harassment issue that they are dealing with. I have a child of my own , if i was in this situation i would have went and said something right away not wait for like 15 years imagine if that was your kid you wouldn’t want no one to be touching your kids, would you ? So people need to start being responsible the first thing that should have thought of was telling the police as soon as he seen what had happened. Imagine how many people and trust that these people have lost, probably more then they think i mean come on, its harassment things need to be done as soon as that stuff starts happening. After reading this article I think that stuff like this needs to be said ASAP. Look at what these people HAD to leave behind because of there dumb choices, now I'm not judging no one, i am just speaking what is on my mind. Know what your getting your self into before you actually get into it.
    - Sadrick

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  18. Jerry Sandusky is a nasty you know what. I think Mike McQueary and Joe Paterno had obligations to tell like the police not just the people ahead of them at the college. The college should have known better then to not tell law enforcements. I mean these poor little kids not knowing what to do about it and none of the adults would help them either are just getting rapped. And the fact that Jim Calhoun never told anyone is just unbelievable and shouldn't be tolerated. Jerry Sandusky could have rapped so many more that just aren’t coming forward about it and I don’t know why they aren't. I’m so glad that whoever told did. Good for them because no one else had the balls to do something about it.

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  19. The people that should be blamed are all of the adults not the kids. Jerry Sandusky is the person that needs the most blame although he isn’t the only one. On more than one occasion staff members have walked in on Jerry doing inappropriate things to helpless children, and did nothing at all to stop him. As a leader you need to have control of the people below you and instead of not letting him have kids on the premises he should have been reported and thrown in jail the next day. I do think that the kids were to afraid to react by telling people because Jerry had respect from, but that doesn’t mean their to be blamed for things out of their control.

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  20. Penn sates.

    I think that The whole chain of Penn state coaches and graduates are to blame. For them being leaders and taking on a big group of kids of all ages to help and show them a different life and come upon a situation like this and not call the police is ridiculous. when Jerry sandusky was a coach in 1969 and started the organization 8 years later was to help unless fortunate children of all ages not to traumatize them, and take away there dignity. I feel that that Jim and mike are also the main ones to blame, if they would have put there self in that little boys shoes and try to understand how that chil

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  21. Joe Paterno, as president of Penn State, should have done something immediately about what was going on. It does not matter how great Penn State’s reputation was, Paterno had a great responsibility which he did not fulfill completely. Whether he’s the president or just some random guy who knew what was going on, he should have had a moral obligation to report what he knew, whether it fell under the specific authority or not. A good leader would have reported what he knew, no matter what. The fact that he hid what was going on for his reputation and the reputation of Penn State is sick. Leadership carries higher responsibilities than to have major achievements and a great deal of respect, which obviously Paterno could not fulfil, nor handle.

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  22. Penn State

    I think if i saw that happening i would immediately call the police and after try n stop it from happening . One of those so called adults should of called the police. An incessant child was being put to harm and didn't even know it. Just as an adult you should know what was supposed to be done.
    I feel that it was way wrong with them for not taking the responsibility of not telling the authorities. I think they were scared of taking the responsibility of telling. Every single one should get charged with some thing they let many get rapped. They have to live with them selves knowing they let many Innocent child's getting harmed. It sick how there are people out there that have lost there mind for innocent little kids. Those kids did not do any thing wrong. Those people should never be able to be around children.

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  23. Coaches like Joe Paterno, have a lot of responsibilities, they have to make sure that their players are doing the right things to succeed. Make sure their not cheating their way through, but most importantly they have to respect their players in order to get respect back. Most coaches wouldn’t have this kind of obligation like Paterno, what he did was not right it was sick. I think it is very important to have their team’s major achievements and absolutely to have respect. Having to be a leader doesn’t mean to take control over people it means to show them what’s right, and how to be strong and win.

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  24. In a way I understand that it was a shock to what people were seeing and noticing what was happening, but how could something not click that holding in what was happening was so selfish. A little kid, if it was their kid they would have been all over the situation but couldn't help another child. I also cant understand how a reputation could be more important that someones life and it wasn't even just one person it was many little boys that didn't ask for anything that happened. Then when no one had the nerve to say anything it only showed that was happening was not a problem it was ok and there is no punishments to your actions. I dont get how some one could live with themselves knowing what was happening.

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  25. I feel that the moral obligation of someone should be the same as their superior because they should both know right from wrong. If they don’t then they need some serious repercussions. If the superior isnt going to dish out the punishment, then the law should. Superiors should still have the moral obligation to take some kind of authority whether its in in their job description or not. Its not enough to have major achievements and a great deal of respect, you have to have good morals too, even if that means giving up some achievements.

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  26. Well the only thing to say about this is that this guys is F****** Sick. How could you do that especially a child. They say this guy has Benn doing this for years and he was caught in the act raping these little boys. These eyewitness didn't have the BALLS to help these little kids, and they sure WERE NOT man enough to at least alert some one that could of helped these little kids. Just think of how it would of Benn one of your kids, if it was my child i would of Benn busting some heads and doing stuff that the cartels would think is cruel and that would make POW s that get tortured look humane. This guy is supposed to be a leader what kinda of leader rapes little Boy's. He works with a school makes me wanna go hide my little cousins and any little helpless kids and take them somewhere safe were this guy or any guy like this can’t find them.

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  27. I do believe that leaders SHOULD have moral obligations. These so called “leaders” are suppose to protect children, and every other helpless, innocent person. Leaders are not suppose to be harming children, and sexually abusing them. When hearing all of these disgusting stories about the victims and Jerry Sandusky, my stomach turned. I am not a person that wants to hear about rapes, because I am totally against it. I have a daughter, and if anyone ever did that to my child, I would be in prison for the rest of my life. I believe all those people who witnessed this mess, should have immediately reported it to the police. No one should have the right to do something that horrible to an individual. Those men should have went and fired that monster, and turned him in. But those men choose to protect that monster and let more children suffer. I honestly think all those men should be punished for not doing the right thing. They are just as guilty as Jerry Sandusky for not stopping this disaster. Sadly, this is the society we live in, and those who we are suppose to trust with our children, are horrible people. Jerry Sandusky is a disgusting man, and rapist. Children trusted this man, and for what?

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  28. Coming from someone who has three nephews, I really hope these jerks get what they deserve. In what universe, would you someone ever leave a small boy to continue getting raped, and then never go to the police about it? How could you walk in, on a older man, raping a young boy and just turn around? I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt, McQueary, maybe you were in shock. But, if you felt comfortable enough to talk to your father about what you saw, you should have felt comfortable enough to speak to the police. That child needed you, and you let him down.
    That poor child was there, because he had nothing. And Sandusky showed him everything. He gave those boys expensive clothing, game tickets, a place to stay, and then he took it all away from them again. Mcqueary, you saw him do this! How spineless can you be, to turn away from a child in desperate need? You went to Paterno. And why did Paterno do? He hid some of the truth, and went to the President of Penn State. And what did he do? Oh, he hid the entire truth, and just banned kids from the program. Three spineless men, who harbor important information, and no better than one man who rapes small boys.
    My first reaction was that these men just wanted to save their jobs. But that’s not the case at all, because Calhoun was just a janitor. He walked in on Sandusky and a small boy, and said nothing to anyone. This is simply just disgusting old men, doing absolutely nothing to help anyone.
    And now people are asking us to feel sorry for Paterno, and to help get him out? Why? What the heck did he help with? Football? Is that what this country is coming too? Football outranks a small boys innocents? No, I say screw you Paterno. You didn’t do crap for anyone. You tried to save your butt, and Sandusky’s. You rot in prison. As for Mcqueary, when your in prison, and someone tries to rape you in the shower, you better hope someone walks in, and they have a stronger back bone than you ever did.

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  29. I think higher responsibility does come with being a leader. A leader is someone who is looked up to, so whether they want to be or not that person is a role model. Being a leader means having a certain power that shouldn't be but is often abused. When you make a decision people observe that decision. As a leader its your responsibility to make sure its a decision that people would agree with.

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  30. Tell us how far you think responsibility extends for leaders like Joe Paterno.
    I think that he could have been a better leader, and gone and said something to the cops about what some of the people seen With what happened to Jerry Sandusky. I think that he would have been alot better of a leader if he wouldn't have tried to cover it up.

    Do they generally have a moral obligation to take action in cases that do not necessarily fall under their specific authority? Or is that too high of a standard?
    Even if it doesn't fall under their specific authority it is still horrible that not one person actually stepped up and went and said something about all of this. It is not to high of a standard because this is a young child being raped not something stupid.

    Is it enough to have major achievements and a great deal of respect?
    Even though that Penn state has a lot of major achievements and a very great deal of respect doesn't mean that they have to try to cover something like this up even if one of the people who witness this would have said something it would have made the school look bad but now penn state is going to have a horrible reputation.

    Or does leadership carry with it higher responsibilities?
    Leadership does carry a lot higher responsibilities. I honestly do not think that any one of these men are leaders if they would have honesty been good leaders they would have stepped up and said something.

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  31. Tell us how far you think responsibility extends for leaders like Joe Paterno.

    * I think, not all, but some of the responsibility for this whole thing was Joe Paterno’s responsibility. He knew for how ever long and never said anything. That right there is morally wrong. He should have gone to the police or something first thing when he heard.



    Do they generally have a moral obligation to take action in cases that do not necessarily fall under their specific authority? Or is that too high a standard?

    * Everyone in this situation had a moral obligation to take action. Any person who knew or saw anything had the moral obligation to protect the children that are being “hurt”. Every person who chose not to tell higher authority, should feel generally responsible for the molestation of all those boys.



    Or does leadership carry with it higher responsibilities

    * Any person in the position of authority has higher responsibility. Hence, the part of the word “Leader”. No person that has control, or a way to stop, or help stop the situation should have done anything they can do to prevent any future happenings.

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  32. Raquel Longoria

    Everyone in this world has moral obligations whether they hold a position of authority or not. Everyday we are presented with the choice of right or wrong, good or bad. Some people though are soulless, greedy, and evil. They have no good in them whatsoever they exploit and victimize others for their benefit. They look over the needs of the many and choose the needs of the few.

    The thing with leaders is that yes they are there to lead and be role models but they take on the form of mini celebrities. They become hungry for fame and they don't want their name to be spit on. They begin to have a Pandora's box of their own filled with black evil secrets that they don't want opened and they will go to great lengths to keep them shut.

    That's exactly what happened in this scandal at Penn State. These sick men would rather save their behinds knowing that there have been innocent young boys that have been raped rather than contact authorities right away. I think that if they had reported it right away the might have been congratulated and some what praised for doing the right thing knowing that it was one of their close colleagues. It takes a lot to do the right thing and if done so in this situation things would’ve probably turned out for the better for everyone.. Except the young victims of course. Its said that we live in this sick world with sick people.

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