It’s Open Season on Children in Pennsylvania

As anyone who has read this blog for any length of time knows, there’s something rotten in the state of Pennsylvania when it comes to protecting children. From Masha Allen (who was adopted from Russia by a pedophile with the help of one of Pittsburgh’s premier adoption agencies), to the Luzerne county kids for cash scandal, to high school students being spied on at home by school administrators; the list of woe goes on and on.

Now Hank Grezlak, the editor-in-chief of The Legal Intelligencer—Pennsylvania’s influential legal daily—has articulated what many of us have known for years: It’s Open Season on Children in Pennsylvania.

In this hard-hitting commentary, Grezlak writes:


In light of the Penn State sex abuse scandal, Pennsylvania really needs to change its nickname from the Keystone State to the Child Abuser State.

The shameful moniker fits. After a decade that has already included the Archdiocese of Philadelphia priest sex abuse scandal and the Luzerne County judicial scandal featuring “kids-for-cash,” how can anyone argue that it isn’t a fitting label?

In all three instances, powerful people and powerful institutions failed to protect the most vulnerable and innocent in society: children.

In all three instances, authorities were made aware of harm or wrongdoing being committed, and did nothing.

In all three instances, people have made excuses for those in power who failed to act, either by failing to report or investigate, allegations of misconduct.

As with the previous two scandals, in the wake of the Penn State disgrace, there will be much hand-wringing and demonizing of a few, along with committees and panels appointed. Inevitably, recommendations will be made that will largely be ignored.

There will be a push to put more laws on the books and stiffen penalties, but those largely will be punitive and after the worst has already been done. We’re not hurting for prosecutors bringing high-profile cases and getting convictions. But again, that’s about seeking justice after the worst has happened, not about protecting kids in advance.

We, as a society in Pennsylvania, have failed to protect our kids.

It’s an excellent sobering commentary. A big shiny gold star to Mr. Grezlak for boldly stating what needs to be said and DONE and which should have been said and DONE years ago. Changing the culture will take time and vigilance. Grezlak takes a bold first step in the right direction.

Read his entire well-deserved invective here.

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