Thursday, November 10, 2011

I can relate to Paterno's supporters...

...but I was probably 10. Hearing about how the PSU students are rallying in support of Paterno reminded me of this story from my own youth. When I was in sleepaway camp one day we all got called into the camp leader's office. One of the campers had complained about our counselor. He had said that our counselor was mean. That if a camper misbehaved our counselor punished them by having the rest of the campers beat them up and give them the silent treatment for the rest of the day. Of course this was all true, but nevertheless every single one of us denied the camper's accusations.

Maybe we were afraid of the consequences. I don't recall being assured that we would be protected and should have nothing to fear. But I don't think that was the reason we rallied around our counselor. We thought he was cool. So while we all earned the approval of our counselor by backing him up, the one kid who had the guts to tell wound up looking like a liar in front of everyone. At least the kid's parents came to pick him up. I don't want to think about what would have happened to him if he had to return to the cabin. He went home with his parents that day. And looking back I always think his parents must have been doing something right.

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