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By David Keene
Conference showed that the values Reagan cherished still endure
Topic - David Finkelhor
As they watched Penn State struggle to contain a child sex-abuse scandal that ruined its once-pristine name and took down the mightiest of college coaches, schools around the country realized they needed to examine what they were doing so they wouldn't see their reputations destroyed, as well.
The cases seem to be popping up everywhere — and with alarming frequency. Dozens of relationships between teachers and students have been reported just this year, but analysts say it's difficult, if not impossible, to know what is media hype and what is a genuine national problem.
"I don't think the problem at Penn State was that they didn't have enough rules, or that they didn't have a mandatory law that required this reporting," Finkelhor said. "I think the problem was that they didn't have a higher level of awareness about the problem itself and they thought they could kind of get away with the way they were handling it."
David Finkelhor of the University of New Hampshire's Crimes Against Children Research Center said anecdotes like that help explain why new policies and laws are important, but maybe not as important as the light shed on the issue of child sex abuse because of the Sandusky case.