Weighing in on the Penn State sexual abuse scandal, President Obama said Friday night that officials working at universities and other institutions “can’t leave it to somebody else” to protect children from predators.
“I think it’s a good time for us to do some soul-searching, every institution, not just Penn State, about what our priorities are,” Mr. Obama told ESPN during a college basketball game he was attending aboard the USS Carl Vinson in San Diego. “We all have a responsibility. We can’t leave it to a system. We can’t leave it to somebody else. Each of us have to take it upon ourselves to make sure that our kids have the love and support and protection they deserve.”
Pennsylvania’s U.S. senators, Republican Pat Toomey and Democrat Bob Casey, withdrew their support for former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno to receive a Presidential Medal of Freedom after the scandal came to light this week. One of Mr. Paterno’s former assistant coaches is charged with abusing several boys, with some of the incidents taking place at the university’s football facilities.
“Obviously, the whole situation’s heartbreaking,” Mr. Obama said. “We think first and foremost of the victims of these alleged crimes.”