Did PSU Hide Death Threats Against Black Students?

Two African-American students say that Penn State did nothing about death threats in 2000.

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Penn State University (Getty Images)

Brentin Mock at Loop 21 is reporting that black students and football players at Penn State University received hate mail in 2000, and they charge that officials did nothing about it.

The incident is said to have occurred around the same time that an employee witnessed a boy younger than 13 being sexually molested by former football defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, the site says.

The hate mail sent to black students had nothing to do with Sandusky’s proclivities, but the two incidences shared something in common: both were ultimately covered up by the university, even as both chain of events grew worse. Sandusky went on to molest and possibly rape more boys, according to a grand jury report (Sandusky denies foul play), and hate mail against black students became death threats.

Ultimately, a black man's dead body was found by police near Penn State as one of the death threats said it would. And some black students had to attend their graduation the following May with bulletproof vests on in fear of their life. 

But few know about the death threats because Penn State and Joe Paterno were not willing to allow bad publicity to ruin the university's image, say some of the black students at the center of the tragic events.

If this account is true, it is clear that Penn State officials were in the habit of sweeping anything that could tarnish their winning image under the rug. They could have led the charge against sexual abuse and hate instead of ignoring their responsibilities to lead and protect students and the community's children. Let's hope they've learned their lesson.

Read more at Loop 21.

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