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Dominion parents, students stand up for Principal Brewer to LCPS leaders

A large group of parents and students came to the Dec. 13 School Board meeting to ask school leaders not to make a “scapegoat” out of Dominion High School Principal John Brewer amidst allegations against a former teacher. Times-Mirror/Alex Erkiletian
The School Board meeting room was packed over capacity last night, with people spilling out into the halls and outside the building. Many of the people at the meeting came to speak up for Dominion Principal John Brewer, who recently went on leave after allegations against a former teacher unraveled in the public eye.

Brewer, who’s held his post at the school since it opened in 2003, abruptly went on leave Dec. 3. On Dec. 2, the Times-Mirror published a story detailing allegations about Brian Damron, a former Dominion band director who is accused of having sexual relationships with former students at the school. Damron recently resigned from a position in a Jacksonville, Fla. school after an internal investigative report substantiated claims he made sexual advances toward a student.

Loudoun County Public School officials have declined to say why Brewer went on leave.

Brewer was named principal of the year in 2010 and, according to the parents who spoke at the meeting, left his mark on the entire school community. A group of parents have started an online petition to reinstate Brewer as principal and to ensure he is not treated as a "scapegoat" by LCPS. The petition has over 1,600 signatures.

Numerous people at the meeting held signs that said, “We are thankful for Dr. Brewer” and wore buttons with the letter “B” on them to show support.

“Our community was and still is shocked about the abrupt manner in which we were informed of Dr. Brewer’s leave from our school,” said Dominion mother Amy Curran, holding back tears. “We ask the LCPS administration to quell the rumors that are present since the very ambiguous email was hastily sent out. We ask you address the students, community and staff as quickly as possible. Transparency is paramount.”

Many parents spoke about Brewer’s “immeasurable character,” telling stories about the principal showing up at their doorsteps to greet them before the start of the school year, visiting Dominion parents in the hospital and his countless hours supporting the school and all of its extracurricular activities.

“As everyone in this room is aware, Dominion has been positively and immeasurably impacted by Dr. Brewer’s service over the past 15 years,” said Dominion father Eric Holmberg. “Reputations are not born in an instant, but forged over the crucible of life’s work that one engages in coupled with the relationships they have. By any measure John Brewer has earned his reputation as the leader of our Titan community.”

Doug Allen, a Dominion father, pointed out during his public comment that the School Board doesn’t have the authority to reinstate Brewer. Allen did urge the board to be “strong leaders” and represent the will of the parents that elected them.

The rock outside of Dominion that Brewer regularly wrote messages on for the student body, like “Go Titans!” or “Congrats Class of 2016,” has been painted with the letter “B” since the principal took leave.

Related coverage:

-Former LCPS band director accused of making sexual advances toward students
-Dominion principal goes on leave after allegations against former teacher go public
-Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office opens investigation into former Dominion High School band director
-LCPS reported allegations against former Dominion teacher to police in 2014
LCPS officials recommended Dominion teacher for new job after ‘alleged incident’

Comments


Standard Operating Procedures for every School and College in America.  Someone sees or reports sexual abuse, school or college does nothing, they send the perverts off to another school or college so they can continue to sexually abuse children. Personally, if I witnessed or knew about sexual abuse to a child I would not keep quite.  I would go over the top ( I assume I would lose my job), but I would take them on and everyone else!  There is zero excuse for anyone to sweep stuff like this under the carpet. There are 18 boys still sitting in prison for sexual relations with their 17 year old girlfriends!  But we excuse things like this???  Famous words of Joe Paterno as he hung his head and could barely speak to the press, days before he died (who reported sexual abuse for years to superiors and others) “I should have done more”.  We owe it to our kids to “do more”.


There is a segment of the population that is okay with children being sexually harassed and abused.  Be vigilant, parents, it’s scary out there and with each comment posted on this horrifying story it becomes more and more apparent how many people sympathize with pedophiles.


I’m disappointed in the posters (on here and the other threads) who either don’t know the difference between harassment and sexual abuse or do and are purposefully confusing them to vilify others. Hint, one is criminal, the other is not.

The accounts suggest that the teacher is accused of harassment, not sex abuse and not pedophilia. Gossip and innuendo about other’s sexual activity and cyber bullying is casebook example of sexual harassment.  The irony is that the posters here that are speculating and passing judgement on a teacher without facts are engaged in sexual harassment by making the community a hostile work environment for the subjects of the story. If you were my employee I’d refer you to H.R. who would tell you to stop it or you are fired.


I do not know Dr. Brewer or the circumstances surrounding his leaving (as no one does), but I’m reminded of incidents several years ago with a “very popular, religious” public male teacher.  He was charged with crimes against male students and the community responded vehemently with support of this teacher.  The victims were lying, he could never have done these things, etc.  We had addressed concerns to the elementary school principal but she did nothing.  There was a trial where these young students had to sit and face their accuser and imagine their hearing words of encouragement and being told they were lying by fellow students.  This case is undoubtedly complex.  As previous writers mentioned, what and when did Dr. Brewer know anything and was it handled according to school and county protocol?  A marvelous person can make mistakes, incidents can be hushed up, etc.  There is a process that has to be followed and while I don’t judge the parents and community for supporting the principal, remember that we do not have all of the facts.  There are possible student victims that need support, too.  Keep an open mind and wait for information when it can be legally given out.


HopefulMom, if you get no response contact the local newspapers and share the information.  Actually, I would encourage you to do it anyway because it is clear that LCPS continues to hide everything that makes them look bad regardless of how much harm they cause to others.


I’d like every one of those parents who attended the meeting to call a parent of a kid at Damron’s new school in Florida and ask how THEY feel about Dr. Brewer.  The lack of perspective here is truly amazing.


HopefulMom, LCPS has not responded to you because they hope this thing all goes away.  Let’s recap:

1. Teachers and parents blow the whistle on Principal Susan Ross of LVHS for demanding grade inflation and even modifying SpEd annual test answers.  LCPS hires their usual defense attorney to “investigate” and declare nothing to see here.  Supt Hatrick threatens teachers who continue to “gossip”.

2. A school counselor is involved in not one, but two suicides in a given year with evidence that he was notified about the student’s inclinations ahead of time.  No notice to parents.  LCPS refuses to divulge information even to the parents much less the community hoping it would go away.  LCPS even refuses to conduct mediation with a former Virginia Supreme Court Justice.

3. An incident with an underage student drinking alcohol near Damron at a music conference is reported to LCPS.  While Damron immediately goes on leave and “resigns” within 2 months in an action approved by the school board, letters of recommendation from both Brewer and band supervisor Pierson are sent to a Florida school district.  Both have glowing approvals of Damron.  Within a few months, Damron is disciplined by Florida for inappropriate behavior.  Within 18 months, he is gone for sexual advances on an underage student.  Nothing is released by LCPS.

Supt Williams, Chairman Hornberger, LCSB members Rose/Maloney/Turgeon simply think they can wait you out.  You will get tired and stop asking.  When it’s time to vote, this won’t seem like a big deal.  They simply believe you do not have the determination to see this through.  They think you don’t really care about transparency but only what’s in it for your child this year.

Are they right?  Will you continue to show up at board meetings?  Will you demand that school board members and senior administration officials are investigated for their actions too?  Will you demand that the investigations are released (there is NO law that prevents their disclosure)?  Will you support folks who are forced to take legal action to ensure LCPS complies with the law?

Time will tell.


Before last month, I would have supported Dr. Brewer, but I witnessed something so disturbing that it changed my opinion of him forever less than a month ago. It is hard to see someone you admired do something that you think is dangerous for children, but I did, and I can’t look at him the same way now. These are our children!

I have given LCPS another set of written facts to investigate, and they are disturbing to me and to those who know of them, but I have heard nothing back from the LCPS officials who received the document two weeks ago, other than an indication they received them. Perhaps they see a pattern and don’t need anymore information from me or others who were there? I can only speculate why there has been no follow up.


Support a guy who knowingly writes a LoR for a pedophile?  No.  Not now.  Not ever.

Many people need to be fired for shuttling a pedophile off to another school district.  Hopefully, the parents of the kids in Florida sue LCPS and Mr. Brewer and others for big $$$.  It seems only an outside court can get the truth from the cone of silence known as LCPS.

Really, I can’t understand why so many people are fanatical about LCPS.  How many times do they have to screw up for people to see the ineptitude?


Has LCPS painted over the Dominion rock (which students had painted “B”) to suppress all speech among students?

Have LCPS board members explained why a special prosecutor was assigned to investigate them?  Have they explained why the special prosecutor determined school board members violated the law?  Could it be related to Dominion?


He needs to explain the LoR before judgement is passed.  Was he pressured into it?  What’s the reason for recommending somebody to work with children who had shown the dangerous tendencies that Damron exhibited?


What did John Brewer know and when did he know it? That’s the important question. If he knew he was signing a recommendation letter for a pedophile, he should lose his job.

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