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Middle school to remove Paterno mural following Freeh report

Nabil K. Mark, Abby Drey / AP file

Pilato had put a halo over Paterno's image after the coach's death in January, but said he felt he had to remove it after a report that Paterno and other university officials buried allegations of child sex-abuse against ex-assistant Jerry Sandusky.

A mural of the late former football coach Joe Paterno at a Connecticut middle school will be painted over following the release of a report last week that put blame on Penn State officials in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. 

Oxford Board of Education Interim Superintendent Dr. John Reed made the decision to remove the painting from the Great Oak Middle School before classes resume, the Connecticut Post reported

The report didn't indicate what painting will replace the Paterno mural. 

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The board first discussed removing the painting last year following allegations Paterno and university leaders failed to report the allegations against Sandusky.

"We decided to wait until all the facts were out and the report was complete before we made a decision," Board of Education Chairwoman Paula Guillet told the station.

The Post reported the painting is part of a "Wall of Heroes" throughout the school that also features Albert Einstein, John F. Kennedy and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. 

The decision follows a 267-page independent report conducted by former FBI Director Louis Freeh on behalf of the university that found officials did little to nothing when confronted with allegations that assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky had been sexually abusing young boys. 

Report: Penn State president, Paterno concealed facts about Sandusky sex abuse

The report also found Paterno and university leaders concealed Sandusky's activities for over a decade and showed a lack of empathy for his victims.

Officials hid the allegations against Sandusky to protect the school's reputation, according to the report. 

Most of Sandusky's victims were middle-schoolers when the abuse occurred. 

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In State College, Pa., another painting of the late football coach was altered after the release of the Freeh report.

Artist Michael Pilato had created a large mural of Penn State leaders years ago. He added a halo over Paterno’s image after he died Jan. 22. But on Saturday, Pilato removed the halo over Paterno's head.

Sandusky was convicted on 45 counts for the sexual abuse of 10 boys over a 15-year period. He is in jail awaiting sentencing. 

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