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Penn State eventually took the appropriate actions in dealing with the reports of child abuse, but what took so long? Leonard Pitts Jr. writes in his new column, “Too Late, But Penn State Finally Did The Right Thing”:

So they did the right thing. Belatedly.

You might say that is better than failing to do the right thing period, but it comes as meager comfort to those who have watched the Penn State scandal unfold and wondered how a moral imperative as obvious as a gorilla in church could have been missed by so many. It is all well and good that the campus was reported to be chastened and numb at Saturday’s football game, that there were a moment of silence and expressions of remorse for victims of pedophilia. But none of that erases, nor even addresses, the most pressing question:

Why did it take so long?

There seems to be some confusion over what one should do if, as allegedly happened at Penn State, one becomes aware of a pedophile sexually assaulting a child, so let us clear that up. Here, step-by-step, is what you do:

(1) Make the pedophile stop, preferably by putting him — or her — forcibly against a wall.

(2) Resisting the urge to put said pedophile through said wall, make sure the victim is OK.

(3) Call the police.

If the rules require you to notify a superior first, allow said superior a reasonable amount of time to call police. Fifteen seconds is a reasonable amount of time.

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