With every new disclosure that comes out, we hear about failure to report, failure to act, failure to protect. Just like other institutional sex abuse scandals, the daily developments at Penn State reveal a systemic and systematic failure to do what is morally right and to protect vulnerable children from inappropriate and allegedly abusive behavior.Each one of us has a moral – and in Texas, a legal – obligation to report child abuse when we see it or suspect it. That’s right; under Texas law you can be charged with a misdemeanor that is punishable with jail time of up to 180 days and/or a fine of up to $2,000. That’s a pretty significant penalty for turning a blind eye to something you can’t believe or don’t want to believe is happening.And, if studies are accurate, there are plenty of us who aren’t eager to get involved. One in six girls will be sexually molested before she is 18 and one in eight boys will be victimized before they are 18. Most of the perpetrators are people close to the victim. Here at Bluebonnet CASA we see the devastating impact of abuse on children. It affects every aspect of their lives – their ability to form healthy relationships, their school work and their behavior. Left unchecked and untreated, it can have tragic lifelong implications including a continued cycle of abuse.Don’t fail our children. If you see abuse, report it. If a child’s life is in imminent danger, call 911. If you suspect abuse, contact the Texas Abuse Hotline at 1-800-252-5400 or visit www.txabusehotline.org. If you want to get involved and help break the cycle of abuse, consider becoming a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate®) volunteer and speak up for children who have been removed from their homes because of abuse and neglect. These are children who have been failed by the very people who should have protected them. Don’t let the system that is supposed to protect them fail them by not speaking up. Give abused and neglected children a voice. Contact Bluebonnet CASA at 325-347-6474 or www.BecomeACASA.org for more information.Failure is not an option for children in Texas.