Statement from Kaitlin McGrath, 2012 PHS Alumna

My name is Kaitlin McGrath, and I attended Presentation High School from 2008 – 2012. During my sophomore year, I was sexually assaulted by an acquaintance of a friend. Though the assault was not campus-related, I reported it to my school counselor during one of our regular meetings. During that meeting, my counselor could tell I was upset about something, and she wouldn’t let me leave until I told her what happened. After I told her, she asked me if I was sure and sent me back to class.

The next day in the car, my mom said to me, “Kate, I have to talk to you about something serious. I got a call from your class counselor saying that, although she could not tell me what it was about, she thinks that you have a penchant for over-exaggeration and lying and that it is something we need to deal with.” I was so ashamed and didn’t end up telling my mother what the call was talking about.

In three more years of meetings with the same counselor, she never once mentioned my assault again or offered me guidance or options. The comment she made to my mother has had the most disgusting effect on me throughout the years. I went through so many years of questioning whether I had blown the whole thing out of experience and isolating myself. I was never aware of the options, be it legal, emotional, or physical help.

The counselor failed me and failed in her legal duty to report my assault to law enforcement. I am speaking out to help make a positive change at Presentation High School and beyond.