Penn State University, a world-leading academic institution in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania, announced today the creation of a committee to consider a temporary hiring freeze on all potential employees with a criminal record of child sex abuse.
The bold move comes less than a week after one of its longtime former employees - former football coach Jerry Sandusky - was found guilty on 45 counts of sexually abusing minors over the course of a 20 year period.
"We don't want to rush to judgement just because of one bad apple."
Much of the abuse took place on the grounds of Penn State's campus, and several high-ranking former university officials are awaiting trail on charges they knew about Sandusky's acts and covered them up to protect the reputation of the school's sacred football program.
And yesterday new emails emerged which showed that once-revered head coach Joe Paterno and former university president Grahm Spanier colluded together to hide Sandusky's acts from the police.
Circenses sine moribus
"We want to draw a clear line under this scandal, " a spokesman for the university said in a prepared statement read outside the Old Main building in State College, PA:
"We were thinking of just creating a committee to come up with ways of separating the convicted child sex molesters from the children on campus. But we thought that was too easy. So we're creating a committee to think about stopping the problem at its source: employing people we know to be child sex abusers."
Asked by reporters afterwards why the school simply doesn't immediately adopt a policy of not hiring child sex abusers, the spokesperson explained that doing so would unfairly tar all convicted sex offenders with the crimes of their past:
"We don't want to rush to judgement just because of one bad apple. They are probably lots of sex offenders who no longer pose a threat to children. Weeding out the good sex offerenders from the bad is one of the things our committee of experts will look at. "
"If we denied someone a job just because of a prior child sex abuse conviction, and then the same person goes on to coach for a national championship team for one of our Big-10 rivals. WOW! Would we look silly!"
The spokesperson said the committee's would make is recommendations in the fall of 2015, and the university would adopt whatever policy the panel reccomends.
"If three years from now our committee says we should stop hiring sex abusers, that's what we'll do. Swift, decisive action."