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View Diary: What the hell is THIS?! [Updated] (226 comments)

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  •  Everyone gets a defense. It's in the Constitution. (5+ / 0-)

    And I hope this school and the people involved get taken for every penny they have and could potentially have.

    "I believe more women should carry guns. I believe armed women will make the world a better place. Women need to come to think of themselves not as victims but as dangerous." Anna Pigeon

    by glorificus on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 07:34:52 AM PST

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    •  Everyone has a right to a defense. (20+ / 0-)

      That's not the same as saying everyone has the right to make shit up and hope for the best.

      I think it is sweet that Dolly Parton scares Stephen Colbert; Jane Fonda merely flustered him.

      by 8ackgr0und N015e on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 07:38:27 AM PST

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    •  The "school" won't get taken. (6+ / 0-)

      The taxpayers will get taken, and the students subsequently attending the school will all suffer for it, as the district's budget will shrink correspondingly.

      Sad, but true. Cunnane's justice, and that of the other plaintiffs, will come primarily at the expense of people utterly innocent of harming her. That's how the universe is, sometimes.

      To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

      by UntimelyRippd on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 08:29:02 AM PST

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      •  It will be up to those parents and taxpayers (13+ / 0-)

        to clean house on the school board, in the teacher's union  and in school policy.

        Male teachers don't rape girls just for the hell of it. They rape girls because they think they can get away with it.  And in this school they did get away with it, for a long, long time.

        There are likely more victims who will never speak up, and who will never have their day in court.

        •  well said. n/t (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FloridaSNMOM, LilithGardener, Siri

          I voted for the human beings.

          by denig on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 09:47:03 AM PST

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        •  As I said: That's how the universe is, sometimes. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Particularly in a society as devoted as ours is to corporate institutions, whether government (school districts, municipalities) or private (joint-stock companies etc.).

          I'm not disagreeing that some sort of justice needs to be meted out -- mainly for the explicit message it sends, not just to this community and school district, but to all communities and school districts.

          Nonetheless, people who are writing comments reveling in the fact that the "school" will be "paying up" are losing track of reality. The "school" doesn't exist as anything other than a legal fiction, and it does not feel any regret, remorse or deprivation, regardless of such justice as is meted out. The fact is that a large fraction of the people who will be "held accountable" are people who are not in any way responsible -- particularly, the students whose educational experience will be substantially degraded because the school district will see lower budgets. Few of these students were even born during the time frame of the crimes. Indeed, given the time frame, it is likely that the majority of those who are going to pay the financial price for this "accountability" did not even live in the school district at the time.

          To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

          by UntimelyRippd on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 11:01:47 AM PST

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      •  School districts are FREQUENTLY sued... (7+ / 0-) force them to conform to laws as they are written. Many districts (even some exceptionally good ones) have to be forced via litigation into doing what they SHOULD be doing.

        The people who lose most are those who live in districts where people don't sue to enforce laws or to right things that are obviously way, WAY wrong.

        Suing school districts not only corrects deficiencies in the district that is sued, but also acts as a strong warning to other districts or administrators that they should take the issue more seriously to avoid  the potential for very serious consequences.

        "Reality divorced the wingnuts after the wingnuts were discovered to be fucking goofy." - DWG

        by Jojos Mojo on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 10:17:58 AM PST

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      •  Nonsense - that's so one sided (4+ / 0-)

        Residents in ANY school district have both the current school budget and whatever the school's legacy is.

        This particular school is in an upper middle class suburb (according to what I read).

        The current taxpayers benefit from all the investments (or coverups) of those who came before and built the district into a good school district, (if it even is a good school district), which in turn causes home prices to rise, attracts better teachers, etc.

        The current taxpayers benefit from the legacy and they have to clean up the mess of this legacy.

        If the corruption in this school is wide-spread and the budget shrinks, and people move out, and property prices go down it will be the problem of whoever remains.

        If, on the other hand, the town, the taxpayers, and the school board pull together to clean house - and root out both the rapists and those who covered things up, they will have a chance to build a new school reputation.

        PSU anyone?

        Current PSU students and faculty aren't simply paying the price for Sandusky and the cover-up.  They are no longer getting to benefit from a corrupt and illegal legacy.  

        They have to decide whether to stay and build their own on top of the ruins, or leave and go where there is a better legacy.

        •  Oh, please. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          The people who are going to pay for this are not the people who committed the crime. Most of them probably gained nothing measurable from the crime/coverup -- in fact, most of them probably paid upfront, in higher home prices and property taxes, for whatever hypothetical benefits -- and its completely impossible for you or anyone else to meaningfully estimate the monetary value of any such benefits -- accrued to the community, because most of them didn't live there at the time.

          That's the bottom line, and the end of the story. Getting all excited about the notion that "the school" is going to get punished for its crimes is ridiculous.

          Your PSU example is not a rebuttal -- to the contrary, it's a perfect example of the problem I'm raising. The current student population is getting hammered by a penalty that far outweighs whatever benefit they enjoyed from the years-old coverup. Had PSU admins taken care of business in the first place, fully investigating Sandusky, firing him, and cooperating with victims and the police to bring charges against him, the downstream "legacy" of the scandal would have been substantially attenuated -- which is to say, by this time, it would have scarcely been measurable.
          Some kid who was a freshman at PSU 2 years ago gained nothing meaningful from PSU's refusal to properly deal with Sandusky back in the 90s. Speculating on the existence and value of some vague and non-quantifiable "legacy benefit" is nothing but a desperate attempt to build a model in which what happened at PSU or what is going to happen in this school district represents some sort of excellent justice. It doesn't -- it represents a sort of extremely imperfect justice, the best we can do under the circumstances. It certainly doesn't merit gloating about the penalty to be paid by innocent kids who didn't even exist at the time the perpetrator killed himself.

          There isn't going to be any justice here. No amount of money is going to make the victims whole. Few of the people ponying up the money (or having their school budgets sacrificed in order to provide the money) will have had any involvement in the crime.

          To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

          by UntimelyRippd on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 01:02:06 PM PST

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    •  but not everyone is entitled to education (0+ / 0-)

      We get that. The priorities are clear.

      "Und wer nicht tanzen will am Schluss - weiß noch nicht dass er tanzen muss", Rammstein, "Amerika"

      by cris0000 on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 08:34:14 AM PST

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    •  No. The school should prevent it happening again. (0+ / 0-)

      But, money cannot make up for abuse.  It is not just to take down an entire school district over the actions of a few.  Those few should be fired and never allowed to work with kids again.  The school district should only pay for legalities and a capped amount of therapy.
      While sexual betrayal at a young age is bad, the victims need to learn to get on with their lives as healthy human beings.  Therapy can show them the way but, it is up to the victims to accept and practice recovery.  No amount of money will prompt that recovery.

    •  Not in a civil case you don't (0+ / 0-)

      The Constitution protects your right to counsel in a criminal case. This is a civil case (tort), and no, you are not entitled to a lawyer. You have to pay one -- or have insurance that includes legal representation (just like your auto policy does).

      That means either the school district's lawyer is a local pol who's billing by the hour, and may not know anything about defending sexual misconduct cases; or it's a lawyer from the nearest large city hired by the insurance company, who knows nothing about schools and small towns and political optics.

      Either way, someone ran their boilerplate "all possible defenses" form out of their word processor without bothering to read it before signing.

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