Below are some statements from Principal Mary Miller and the Board of Directors, as well as some of our responses to those statements:
- Miller states, “Regarding the alumnus allegations, in all cases, we could only act on what we were told at the time. What was reported at the time did not create a reasonable suspicion of sexual abuse. What is being claimed now is different than was reported to us in the past.” This directly contradicts what Miller wrote on Nov 22: “PHS conducted an investigation more than 25 years ago into this matter as well as other claims made today. There is no new information provided by this personal injury attorney or the former students.”
- Miller states, “Our school’s lawyer has requested attorney Robert Allard to share the concerns his team claimed to have uncovered about past allegations. Yet, he repeatedly refused to share, preferring instead to publicly criticize PHS through press conferences.” Robert Allard and the PHS graduates have tried repeatedly to meet with the Board of Directors, but the board’s lawyer has refused to allow a meeting.
- Miller states, “Many of the allegations made against PHS are unsubstantiated claims masquerading as facts, mostly done hiding behind the cover of anonymous and unsubstantiated rumors on Facebook posts.” The allegations made at the Dec 19th press conference were not anonymous. Dina Leonis, Katharine Magana, Shelby Rusconi, and Mary Jane Perryman all made statements. Additionally the allegations made on Nov 22nd by Kathryn Leehane and Cheryl Hodgin Marshall and the allegations from Ellen on Nov 9th were also not anonymous.
- Miller states, “The news conference this week was intended to be harmful to current students who love their school and are simply trying to get a great education. They do not deserve to be subjected to this false narrative.” The intent is to ensure the safety of current and future students by ensuring that the school follows child abuse reporting laws and has a zero tolerance policy towards sexual abuse.
- Instead of apologizing to any of the victims, Kathryn Leehane is called out publicly by name.
- The Board states, “Unfortunately, PHS at the time of the described incident was not provided with all the current details now being shared.” This directly contradicts what Miller wrote on Nov 22: “PHS conducted an investigation more than 25 years ago into this matter as well as other claims made today. There is no new information provided by this personal injury attorney or the former students.”
- The Board states, “Some have opinions on the actions taken/not taken by PHS in the past. However, it is false to suggest that no actions were taken.” The administration failed in their legal obligation to forward multiple reports of abuse to law enforcement.
- Miller labels victims’ advocate Robert Allard a “personal injury attorney.”
- Miller states, “However, for anyone to suggest that PHS has in any manner covered up or condoned any instance of sexual abuse is an outright lie.” In fact, the school failed to forward multiple known reports of abuse to law enforcement, as required by law.
Miller states, “PHS conducted an investigation more than 25 years ago into this matter as well as other claimsmade today. There is no new information provided by this personal injury attorney or the former students.” It is the school’s role to report abuse, not investigate claims.
- The Board labels alumni who support the victims “the dark side of social media.”
- The Board states, “While the school cannot legally disclose such matters publicly, be assured that we are satisfied that Presentation Administration fulfilled its due diligence in the investigative process for these incidents.” In fact, they were not incidents but alleged crimes that took place, which warranted a police investigation. The school failed in their legal obligation to forward the reports to law enforcement.
- Miller states, “the school conducted an investigation more than 25 years ago into this matter.” It is not the school’s role to conduct investigations into abuse allegations; it is their duty to report them to law enforcement. They failed in their legal obligation to forward Leehane’s abuse allegations to law enforcement. On November 22, 2017, a PHS spokesperson confirmed the allegations were never forwarded to law enforcement.
- Miller states, “It is not our intention to alter the warm and nurturing relationship enjoyed by faculty and students, but rather to ensure that there are no unintentional misunderstandings or misperceptions with respect to this important relationship.” Administrators, teachers, parents, and students all need to understand or be educated to “red flag” behavior so that when warm and nurturing relationships cross the line, the proper, legal, and ONLY response is to allow law enforcement to investigate.
There is a lot of misinformation out there. Have a question or comment? Send us an email.