Robert Allard’s Opening Statement

December 19, 2017

“Good morning, everyone, and thanks for coming.

We are being forced to do this press conference for two reasons:

First, we have made it clear from the outset that goal is to better protect students from potential pedophiles at Presentation High School. However, it is impossible to change anything unless there is a recognition that there is a problem in the first instance. Through newsletters and otherwise, this administration refuses to acknowledge that anything is wrong and that children entrusted to its care have always been completely safe from pedophiles.  Through the dissemination of misleading information, this administration is creating the false impression that it has always honored California mandatory reporter laws. Based on what we have discovered through our investigation, nothing could be further from the truth. We have concluded that in many instances this administration not only ignores these laws but actually flouts them.

Second, we have always preferred to convey the information that we have gathered directly to Presentation’s Board of Directors. I personally know many of these Board members and they are good, honest and caring people. I strongly suspect that they don’t know the truth about how this administration has repeatedly violated the law, resulting in countless children needlessly being exposed to child predators. If this information were fully known, I can assure you that immediate and drastic changes would have been made, including a change in leadership. Because the administration wants to continue to keep its Board in the dark, however, we have been consistently denied the opportunity to make this presentation to the Board.  We have asked for nothing in return for such a meeting. No monetary demands. No insistence that they provide information in return. No conditions other than an audience consisting of a full Board and open ears. The answer we have been given without explanation is a flat NO. So, now we have to involve the general public to get this information out there.

What you are about to hear is a sampling of many stories we have heard which have the same common themes:

  1. Sexual misconduct committed by Presentation teachers or coaches;
  2. Students traumatized as a result;
  3. Pleas made by to the Presentation administration that they do something about it;
  4. Failure to follow the law and report this information to the police or CPS;
  5. Instead, there was a concerted effort to take the law into its own hands, deal with this information internally under the cover of silence and alleged “confidentiality”; and
  6. As a consequence, students continued to be exposed to sexual misconduct by predators who now are emboldened because they knew they were protected.

As the following stories will make clear, there is a chronic problem at this school which has been repeatedly manifested over the course of the last 30 years due to a mindset that this administration is above the law and is allowed to take matters into its own hands.   This has to change.  Right here.  Right now.  We are asking the entire Presentation community to join us in this fight for strict adherence to California’s child protection laws and the creation of a new leadership group which places the safety and welfare of children above image, reputation and financial interests.

Finally, while our efforts today are directly aimed at the Presentation administration, we also call attention to the larger problem it represents. The public must be aware of the dangers of sexual predators and of not following mandatory reporting requirements. Because, when sexual predator reports are “handled in house” the young victim is further traumatized, trained police professionals are kept in the dark and the predator–whether kept on staff or fired–is free to abuse again. And so often does again and again. These predators have a disease, and when any organization sweeps notice of it under the rug it allows that disease to spread further. Often, as here, with disastrous life-damaging results.”