tv Tavis Smiley WHUT November 10, 2011 8:30am-9:00am EST
>> they feel safe and secure so that they can actually think instead of being in the fight or flight mode, which happens a lot in schools. you're worried if you're about our kids can worry about what's the next thing i need to know in algebra. >> reporter: 300 new students chose to enroll here this fall, most of them transfers from anderson public schools. besides charter schools and private schools, families here have one other new option. city quickly gives way to country in the neighboring school district of lapel. many anderson families send their children here. new legislation allows them to choose public schools outside the district where they live. >> we have a very good reputation. >> reporter: bobby fields is the district superintendent. >> it's relatively small. the teachers know everybody by name. there are a lot of old-school things i would call it, that are
appealing to a lot of people and they want their kids to come here. >> reporter: high test scores and graduation rates are two more reasons some 400 anderson families chose to send their children here this fall. >> some of our most disadvantaged families do not have the choices to move to the suburbs, to move to a private school. >> reporter: state school superintendent tony bennet has been the driving force behind the republican-led choice movement in indiana. >> what this has done is allowed-- the statistics are bearing it out-- it is allowing families the opportunity to pursue prosperity for their children. if we're going to break this cycle of poverty, we have to provide those options. >> it's not our obligation as a state to support every choice that everybody wants to make. >> reporter: democratic state senator ed delhaney prefers high quality public schools over choice. >> these schools are like little
car companies, and they're all announcing, i've made the greatest new car. no proof, no evidence, no history. this is not a scientific experiment. it's an attempt in my view to just push down public education. >> reporter: for anderson's already struggling nine schools, choice has made a bad situation worse. this year, the district is loosing 1,000 students to private schools, charter schools, and neighboring districts. anderson's superintendent felix chow: >> if you lose a thousand students, that's $6 million. so we have to cut $6 million equivalent in expenditure in order to balance the books. >> reporter: some 200 teachers, a third of the total, recently lost their jobs and class sizes have grown. an obvious solution is for anderson schools to improve, so not as many students leave and take their state dollars with them.
but anderson's new competitors are making that hard. >> some schools cherry pick. one school in the area actually sent out a flyer. they somehow got a list of high level kids and said to them come here, this is what we can offer you. >> reporter: meanwhile, anderson's neediest students have been turned away. >> do you accept students with special needs? >> that's a difficult question. there might be a student that comes in right now, maybe they applied for a fifth grade class and they're reading on a kindergarten reading level, and their math achievement was on a kindergarten level. academically, i am not equipped to meet their need. >> reporter: private schools to be selective, but its happening in public schools too, which have always been open to all. anderson's neighbor, lapel, for instance, only accepts transfer students who have at least a 2.0 grade point average and have not been expelled or suspended.
>> but that's the way the state has set the rules and were just trying to play the game the best we can. >> reporter: others fear a bigger problem with choice has more to do with self-selection. >> the parents who are energetic and active, and poor, will answer the advertisements for these new opportunities and take their kids there. that's what's going to happen. so what were going to do, especially in the urban areas, were going to turn the public schools into places of last resort. >> we have a lot of great school leaders out there who aren't saying, woe is me, we're going to lose our schools. what they're saying is we're going to lace our shoes up and we're going to compete and we're going to win. >> reporter: anderson is fighting back, despite rules that may work against it, with four new initiatives. >> character education, health education, teamwork and leadership. >> reporter: are you putting those in your schools? >> yes. if a child has no sense of
character, you get a lot of smart crooks. you need health. we try to provide much healthier lunch menus. we emphasize physical exercise, starting at the lower grades. teamwork and leadership we try to do as much project learning- group work. with school choice, the best school gets the students. we can compete. >> reporter: but to others, choice, even among good schools is not enough. >> we don't need a common education in america anymore. that's the underlining thought. you can go off to your own selective religious group and the state will support you. i'm troubled by this. we're going to have people who don't know each other. it's just that simple. if we don't provide quality educational opportunities, regardless of where they come
from, to all of our children, i believe we're going to see a greater separation in the long term. we're going to see the erosion of the middle-class. >> reporter: who benefits from choice? certainly it gives some students options and opportunities. but for others who require special services, and for those who haven't been successful in school, the options, it appears, are limited. and until that problem is addressed, choice in indiana is likely to be a partial solution. >> woodruff: now, more fallout from the penn state sexual abuse scandal and the announcement that coaching great joe paterno will retire. ray suarez has our update. >> suarez: late this morng, the legendary coach, who was penn state in many ways, announced he'd leave after this
season, amid the child sex abuse scandal engulfing the university. in a statement, joe paterno said: after 62 years on campus-- 46 as head coach, 409 wins, a major college record and two national titles. all of joe paterno's career stats were overwhelmed by a single number: eight. that's the number of young boys allegedly molested by jerry sandusky, over 15 years, according to initial charges. the former longtime defensive coach who retired in 1999 was once paterno's heir apparent. sandusky is now 67 was arrested saturday on 40 counts of child sexual abuse. from there, the focus quickly fell on what paterno did and did not do, when a graduate assistant told him in 2002
that he'd seen sandusky raping a child in a locker room shower. paterno did not inform police. instead, he told penn state athletic director tim curley. now, curley and a penn state vice president are charged with perjury and failure to report the alleged abuse to authorities. paterno has not been charged. >> we love joe. >> suarez: last night there was no mistaking the show of support for the embattled coach outside his home. hundreds of students gathered for the man dubbed "joe-pa." paterno spoke to the focus of the case. >> there's been some criticism of the way we've handled some of the poor victims. you know my wife and i have 17 grandkids, from 16 to three and we pray for them every night and we're going to start praying for the kids that got involved in
some of the problems that were talked about. >> suarez: the exuberance didn't end, and the coach emerged once more. >> it's hard for me to tell you how much this means to me. you guys-- i've lived for this place. i've lived for people like you guys. >> suarez: for now, paterno plans to be on the sidelines this saturday, when penn state plays nebraska, in the nittany lions' final home game this season. but he may never get the chance to coach that game. the university's board of trustees meets friday and could order his immediate ouster. mu poe tithrtreveiss ng e suggested that university president graham spanier could resign or be forced out by school trustees tonight. we look at the questions surrounding the school, including the legal and ethical issues at stake. anne danahy is a reporter for jeff anderson is a trial lawyer who runs his own practice, specializing in representing victims of childhood sexual abuse.
jeff, let's begin with where this story begins-- with a member of the football team staff seeing what he thinks is the commission of a crime in a university facility, jerry sandusky raping a young man, a boy. what legal obligations-- not suggestions, ethical obligations-- but what legal obligations come into play at that moment? >> well, every adult in this scenario has a legal obligation to report any suspicion of sexual abuse. any suspicion of those trained to investigate. that is to trial protection or law enforcement. and the failure of the individuals to do that is a failure of their legal obligation not to mention their moral. >> suarez: in this case, the
young graduate assistant reported to his superior, joe paterno at that point is becomes as here story. what's mr. paterno's responsibility at that point legally. >> well, first, reporting it up the line or down the line doesn't make it. you report it to police. and they investigate it because that's what they're trained. joe paterno's responsibility once he received the report was to do the same thing. turn it over to law enforcement, let them investigate it. and joe paterno failed in his obligations both moral and legal. and that really leads to the larger question here. this is institutional failure as well as individual failure of trusted adults. and it is the institutions that failed the kids on multiple levels from the top to the bottom and so the resignation of joe ma tern know or the resignation of the president in
itself doesn't address the culture and the institutional failure. what really has to be done here now is the institution has to acknowledge their failures and rigorously commit themselves to training and preventing this from happening again and rigorously reaching out and acknowledging the failures of the past. >> suarez: in this particular case, joe paterno said he turned it over to his superiors. now, at that point he says he's dispensed his obligations his spokesman-- his own son-- scott paterno, said he's dispensed his obligations and, in fact, no one is saying they're contemplating charges against joe paterno. what happens next? >> well, when you hear of that, it is remindful of what happens in the roman catholic church hierarchy. it's really just obedience to silence and a culture of
protection. reporting up the line or down the line and telling others in that culture of silence and self-protection doesn't protect kids. the only thing that protects the kids is action that is reporting to law enforcement and then training those that are required to report an act, in this case they didn't and so as a result we know of eight, we know there are dozens more yet suffering in silence ready to come forward and we know this institution is a real opportunity for a teaching moment for them to learn the lesson of their failures and rigorously employ practices that will prevent other kids from being harmed across all cultural lines and institutional boundaries. >> this this case you're dealing with an institution in pen state university that is... takes up a
huge space in the culture of central pennsylvania. you're dealing with people who are prominent, well known in every corner of the state, but especially right there in state college, pennsylvania. does it become more difficult? is it more complicated when you're dealing with prominent people inside a culture that is very much devoted to the maintenance and the success of that place? >> well, really you hit the nail on the head. the problem is the more powerful and revered the institution, the more difficult it becomes for anybody within it "extra innings live" pose the underbelly or report the sexual abuse and take action and because it is such a powerful and revered institution everybody here deferred to the institution to preserve its rep decontamination and forgot about the kids. and that is what is the problem in our most powerful and trusted
institutions. the kids are at greatest peril because the most powerful and trusted predators in those institutions are given the most protection. >> suarez: is it often in case in your practice where molesters are not scary strangers but people who go out of their way over time to gain the confidence and create intimacy with their eventual victims? >> well, in our practice across the country for three decades and in pennsylvania has been a demonstration of serial predators who are very trustworthy, the most prominent in our community given great deference because they are so trusted and they continue to offend and reoffend even with those around them knowing, not wanting to believe or report and thus they're given permission that if effect the fox is put
back into the henhouse and kept in that position of trust. most notably demonstrated in the catholic clerical culture where we've seen that demonstrated time and time again across the country and as we've seen demonstrated in other protective institutions where powerful figures are given deference because they... we don't want to believe, we don't want to see, we don't want to hear. and when they get caught often times afraid to act or believe that they could do what sandusky did. >> suarez: what he's been accused of doing. but jeff anderson, thanks a lot for jong us tonight. >> you're welcome. >> brown: finally tonight, stories of dishonor for some who died in war. margaret warner has our report. >> warner: dover air force base
in delaware receives america's war dead in solemn ceremony with presidents and top brass paying their respects. but now, after a year-long investigation, the air force has acknowledged gross mismanagement of some remains within the base's military mortuary. lost body parts in two instances in 2009; fragments of ankle bone and human tissue of servicemen killed in afghanistan and the severing of a dead marine's arm bone in 2010 to fit him into a dress uniform for viewing without getting the family's consent. still, the air force concluded there'd been no violations of law, or procedure. and air force chief of staff general norton schwartz yesterday defended the decision to discipline but not fire the three senior mortuary officials in charge. >> this was not a deliberate act
in my personal view and that of the commanders who exercised authority in this case. >> warner: but separately, the independent office of special counsel criticized the air force's conclusions and disciplinary decisions saying they demonstrated a pattern of failure to acknowledge culpability for wrongdoing relating to the treatment of remains. defense secretary leon panetta has ordered a review, and today his spokesman said he leaves open the possibility for further accountability. for more we're joined by craig whitlock, national security reporter at the "washington post." and, craig, thank you for coming back. let's start with how did these charges even come to light, even come to be investigated? >> hi, margaret. the charges came from three whistle-blowers, each of whom works at dover air force base at the mortuary. these were embalmers and technicians who worked there for a number of years and they filed complaints with a number of
agencies, including the inspector general of the air force, with the department of defense, and with the office of special counsel and this happened in about april and may 2009 and that's what... excuse america 2010, and that's what prompted the investigations. the. >> warner: and what is the major point of disagreement here between the air force probe and the office of special counsel which seems quite a bit harsher. >> it is quite a bit harsher, margaret. the air force as you noted earlier investigated these allegations in detail and while they did find a pattern of quote/unquote gross mismanagement they found that these individual allegations of missing body parts and improperly handled remains were not a violation of specific rules or procedures and no one had personally broke any rules. the office of special counsel took strong exception to that. they said this was evidence that the air force didn't take these allegations seriously enough, that they should have
disciplined supervisors more severely including one who they said had been quote/unquote untruthful to investigators and the office of special counsel said essentially the air force took a light hand in reacting. >> warner: and that guy you're talking about, mr. keogh, was the director of the mortuary. >> that's correct. >> warner: now, this seems to be a fast-moving story. what are the lateest? >> we're reporting on our web site very shortly-- if we haven't already on my way to the studio-- that there were some highly suspect methods for the air force mortuary to dispose of some remains at dover for many years. we're going to report-- and air force officials have admitted-- that between 2003 and 2008 that with some body fragments and tissues and parts recovered from the battlefield that they created them... cremated them and disposed of them in a landfill in virginia. they did this for the most part without the families being aware. let me be clear: in each of
these cases they were... war is an ugly business and it's pretty graphic and in some cases bodies weren't left intact and it takes a while to identify all the remains of the body and in many cases the families gave the air force permission to dispose of any later found body parts in a dignified and appropriate manner whaplt they didn't know is that the air force would have them created and incinerated and then taken to a landfill. >> warner: so the fault here is failure to essentially show the proper respect and not meet the family's expectations on what they had told the family would be done with them. >> i think that's right. the families were not aware that was going on. some families tried for years to get answers of what had happened and the air force was reluctant to be open about it. but, again, let me emphasize that for the military giving care and respect and dignity and honor to fallen troops in their families, those who are who were killed in battle, is of the utmost importance in military culture as well as regulations.
so the idea that these remains can be handled, whether ultimately ending up in a landfill or these lost body parts is shocking to people in our armed forces and their families. >> warner: the special counsel is critical of the air force for its own timetable for notifying the families. what happened there? >> that's correct. this investigation took 18 months or so. the air force waited the air force waited to notify four families whose service members had body parts that were missing or couldn't be accounted for. the air force has given some shifting explanations for why they waited so long. first general schwartz, the chief of staff who you heard earlier, said that there were some constraints placed on the air force by the office of special counsel that made them wait. later he said that it was the air force's judgment that they wanted to give all the information of the families in one fell swoop instead of partial reports and that's why
they waited. the office of special counsel was highly critical of this. they said that they had urged the air force for months to notify the families, that they should have been notified right away that there was these discrepancies and what happened to their fallen relatives. >> warner: secretary panetta has his review, you have your findings. where does this go from here? >> we're not sure and i i think there are questions as to how things were handled at this mortuary and for how many years. yesterday general schwartz couldn't rule out that there have been other incidents where body parts were missing or other improprieties. he said he hoped everything had been fixed and everything was up to you have? now but we don't know what happened in prior years or in other cases and we'll have to wait and see what comes out. >> warner: craig whitlock of the "washington post." thanks so much. >> woodruff: again, the major developments of the day:
the economic and political crisis in italy rattled markets worldwide. the dow industrials lost nearly 390 points and legendary penn state football coach joe paterno announced he'll retire after the season. he said he's devastated by charges that a former top assistant molested young boys. online, we have more about last night's election results. hari sreenivasan explains. hari? >> sreenivasan: our analysis of winners and losers is on the "morning line"-- our daily email on all things politics. sign up on our politics page. special correspondent fred de sam lazaro examines the plight of somali refugees. find a preview of his reporting on our world page. plus, jeff talks to writer julian barnes, this year's winner of the man booker prize for his novel "the sense of an ending." that's on art beat. all that and more is on our web site: newshour.pbs.org. judy? >> woodruff: and that's the "newshour" for tonight. on thursday, we'll report on the search for radiation hot spots in japan after the nuclear meltdown. i'm judy woodruff.
>> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. we'll see you online and again here tomorrow evening. thank you and good night. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> oil companies make huge profits. >> last year, chevron made a lot of money. >> where does it go? >> every penny and more went into bringing energy to the world. >> the economy is tough right now, everywhere. >> we pumped $21 billion into local economies, into small businesses, communities, equipment, materials. >> that money could make a big difference to a lot of people. and by the alfred p. sloan foundation. supporting science, technology, and improved economic performance and financial literacy in the 21st century. and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations.