Timothy Piazza’s parents: ‘Penn State failed our son’
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Saying "Penn State University failed our son and failed us," the parents of 19-year-old Timothy Piazza have detailed the changes they want made on the campus where their son was injured at a fraternity house party and left to die overnight in February.
Their proposals, reported by NJ.com, are contained within a letter James and Evelyn Piazza have addressed to Penn State's board of trustees, in advance of a special meeting on Friday to consider improvements to student safety.
For the first time on record, the Piazzas alluded to other, previous Penn State scandals as part of a campus-wide culture of "looking the other way" — namely, the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse case that landed the former assistant football coach in prison.
The Piazzas say they are not trying to end Greek life altogether on campus, according to the report, but Penn State President Eric Barron has already offered that as a possibility if hazing and sexual assault incidents continue. Penn State has already delayed the 2017-18 pledging, or rush, season from the fall to the spring, prohibited daylong events, and outlawed kegs at social gatherings.
The five main conditions in the Piazzas' letter:
- Expel students who "had culpability in our son's death";
- Fire administrators who turn a blind eye;
- Fire Beta Theta Pi's advisor;
- Support changing laws in Pennsylvania and nationwide;
- Enact strict university policies and procedures governing Greek life.
"Our son died on your watch because of ignorance and denial by Penn State," they were quoted as writing in the letter. "Yes, he died at the hands of men who had no regard for human life, but that behavior was fostered and accepted at Penn State for a long time."