Statement by Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach, volunteer Western Regional Director, SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
We applaud the tenacity of the students and their families. Because they spoke up and refused to be silenced, they accomplished what the LAUSD refused to do: make LA’s public schools safer for vulnerable students.
It shouldn’t take years for brave victims of abuse to get accountability from the state’s largest school district. The four victims of former “teacher of the year” Vance Miller fought long and hard to expose Miller’s crimes and get justice. It took the LAUSD far too long to be accountable. Public institutions like the LAUSD—who are trusted to educate our children—must hold themselves to a higher standard. Yet again, the LAUSD leadership has failed. The children of Los Angeles deserve better.
We urge anyone who has seen or suspected abuse by Miller or anyone to call law enforcement immediately. We also encourage parents to speak honestly with their children about abuse and predatory grooming.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org