CA--SNAP commends Presentation High graduates for providing a forum for #PresToo stories

For immediate release Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Statement by Melanie Jula Sakoda of California, Volunteer East Bay Leader for SNAP, the Survivors Network (

Presentation High graduates Kathryn Leehane and Cheryl Hodgin Marshall started the website Make Pres Safe because they “school administrators failed to act when they came to them with separate stories of abuse.” Leehane explained:

"My hope is that my fellow alums, members of the various boards, and every single person invested in the well-being of the students at PHS read the victim’s stories – hear their voices – and ensure the PHS administration and board do the right thing: take responsibility for their mistakes, apologize to the survivors, and make permanent changes to protect all of the young women entrusted to their care."

When leaders of institutions, including religious ones like this San Jose Catholic school, do not respond appropriately to reports of the sexual abuse of minors, people concerned about their failure will understandably seek other venues to make their voices heard. This is what Leehane and Hodgin Marshall have done, and we applaud them for their activism.

New forums like this should serve as a wake-up call to all institutions that have ignored and suppressed reports about child sex crimes that occurred on their watch. There is a growing social consensus about the heinousness of such behavior — as the stiff sentence given today to former US Gymnasts doctor Larry Nassar reminds us.

More and more people are refusing to suffer alone and in silence. SNAP has provided a venue for victims’ truth for decades, and we are thrilled to have the brave survivors of Presentation High create a new forum for victims to share, heal and promote change.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 25,000 members. Our website is


Melanie Jula Sakoda (, Joelle Casteix (, or Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP Executive Director (

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