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WDAY: The News Leader

Published November 10, 2011, 07:18 PM

Could it happen here? Local Reaction to Penn State Sex Scandal

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Legendary football coach Joe Paterno and Penn State's president have been fired after a sex scandal rocks Penn State. They're being criticized for not doing enough to stop the alleged abuse by former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. Could that ever happen here ???

Legendary football coach Joe Paterno and Penn State's president have been fired after a sex scandal rocks Penn State. They're being criticized for not doing enough to stop the alleged abuse by former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. Could that ever happen here ???

The Penn State scandal has sent shock waves throughout the sports world and nation as a whole.

Carolyn Boutain – Fargo Park District: "You know something fell thru the cracks."

It's something the Fargo Park District works to prevent. Background checks are done on all full and part-time employees. And if inappropriate behavior was reported, an investigation would follow.

Carolyn Boutain: "With our coaches we also talk to them about safety, saying don't put yourself in a position where something like this could be happening or could look like it's happening."

NDSU also follows strict policies. Allegations of abuse could lead to the involvement of outside authorities.

Gene Taylor – NDSU Athletic Director: "Coaches, administrators, staff members we all play a role if we were to see something we have a duty to report that and there's really no ambiguity to that. It's really clear."

That's why he can't understand how the alleged abuse by Sandusky went on for so long.

Gene Taylor: "They should've been more diligent in terms of reporting it and following up on it and even going as far as telling Coach Sandusky that maybe he didn't have to be on campus any longer."

Both the Fargo Park District and NDSU say they've never had to deal with anything remotely close to the Penn State scandal.

A lot of people, across the country and right here in Fargo-Moorhead, are wondering how Sandusky got away with the alleged abuse for 15 years.

Lori Askew with the Fargo South High School Parent Teacher Student Association is upset that university officials failed to thoroughly investigate abuse allegations. Askew herself has two children who are active in sports. She says one of the best ways to keep your kids safe is communication.

Lori Askew – Fargo South High PTSA: “You have to talk to your kids, whatever it takes to talk to them even if it's just texting them that's a good way of keeping in communication with them.>

Askew says abuse can happen anywhere. She says she has confidence in local sports and youth organizations.

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