Search for new administrator begins after Presentation High School president steps down amid allegations of mishandling sexual abuse claims

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A nationwide search has begun for the next president of a prestigious South Bay Catholic High School. Mary Miller resigned after nearly a year of accusations of mishandling sexual abuse allegations against staff members.

A nationwide search has begun for the next president of a prestigious South Bay Catholic high school. Mary Miller resigned after nearly a year of accusations of mishandling sexual abuse allegations against staff members.

Miller served as both principal and president at Presentation High School.

Her resignation goes into effect on Sept. 14.

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In her letter to the board, Miller said she hopes her absence "allows the staff and new administration to focus on the success and well being of our students."

This comes after an article written by former student Katherine Leehane was published in the Washington Post last October.

RELATED: Presentation HS president resigns amid accusations she mishandled reports of sex abuse

It accused Miller of not going to police when Leehane told her she was groped by one of her teachers.

Leehane says since her story was made public, more than 30 people came forward saying they were abused by staff members, too.

RELATED: More sexual misconduct claims at Presentation High School in San Jose

"She did a lot of good for Presentation. There is no doubt about that, but she also, through her failure to report child abuse, she victimized dozens of girls," said Leehane.

Bishop Patrick McGrath of the Diocese of San Jose released a statement saying in part, "I hope that the announcement today by the Board of Directors of the change in school leadership will allow the victims, survivors, their families, and the Presentation High School community to take the next step on the path of recovery and wholeness."

Parents are hopeful of the new direction.

RELATED: Accusations fly over SJ high school's handling of sexual abuse allegations

"I just know it's been a good school for my daughter and it's been a good school for a long time," said parent John Lapava.

"I hope they make a good pick because they've already gone through this thing so hopefully they make the right choice," said parent Veera Hatte.

Miller, Presentation High School and a former teacher have also been named in a lawsuit filed on behalf of a former student.

Full statement from Bishop Patrick J. McGrath with the Diocese of San Jose:

I commend the courageous women who have come forward over the past year to cast light upon the abuse that they and others experienced while students at Presentation High School. Through these difficult times, they have stood with one another in solidarity.

Over the past few months, I have met with some of the victims and listened to their stories and concerns. I hope that the announcement today by the Board of Directors of the change in school leadership will allow the victims, survivors, their families, and the Presentation High School community to take the next step on the path of recovery and wholeness.

The Diocese of San Jose is committed to a safe environment for all and extends support to victims/survivors and their families through the Office for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults - 408-983-0113.
Related Topics:
sex crimesex crimessexually assaultsexual harassmentsexual misconductstudentsstudent safetyhigh schoolSan Jose
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