No Gag Orders at Penn State; SNAP Says

By Barbara Dorris
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
June 25, 2012

We call on Penn State officials to disavow confidentiality or "gag" orders and to agree not to ask victims to sign them before their cases are settled. From a PR perspective, these orders may be tempting, but from a prevention perspective, these orders will only do the public a disservice.

It is important that the facts about this harrowing situation can be made public, so that people may learn where things went wrong, and what can be done to prevent such wrongdoing in the future.

Penn State officials have publicly said they want these suits to be resolved quickly. But in some ways, we hope not all of them will be.

We hope that at least one of Sandusky's victims will have the strength and courage to resist the temptation to settle and go to trial, so more about the complicity of top university staff will be uncovered.

A trial can, of course, be grueling and unpredictable. But through tough questions under oath in open court, crucial secrets can be revealed. In these secrets, the people may learn what really went on in Happy Valley and who knew what and when and which school officials acted recklessly, callously and selfishly.

Sandusky's conviction was only the first step towards healing, both for the victims and the university. For the process to be completed, Penn State must work towards the full truth of who was involved. Anything less is half-justice, and a lesson left unlearnt.


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