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Dominion principal goes on leave after allegations against former teacher go public

Dominion High School Principal John Brewer. Photo Courtesy Loudoun County Public Schools
Dominion High School Principal John Brewer, who has held his position since the school opened in 2003, abruptly went on leave starting 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 would not disclose the reason for Brewer’s leave this week.

“Dr. Brewer is on leave,” said Wayde Byard, LCPS public information officer. “We shared this with the community on Saturday night. Bill Raye, a former LCPS principal, is serving as acting principal in Dr. Brewer’s absence.”

Brewer was named LCPS' principal of the year in 2010.

The following email was sent to the parents of Dominion students this week:

Hello Dominion Community,

This message is to introduce you to Bill Raye, who will be serving as acting principal beginning Monday, December 5, while Dr. Brewer is on leave.

Mr. Raye is a veteran Loudoun County principal who worked in the Dominion Community, and he knows many of the students and families in the area.

Please join us in welcoming Mr. Raye into the Titan Community.

Comments


Many of you have already either forgotten the big controversy in 2009 regarding Dominion High School staff and students.  Hint:  It was something that happened during a trip to a foreign country.

As for the student that was hurt by the parent volunteer and could not participate in the school musical activity, you should have filed charges.  When someone touches you like that, it legally crosses the line and can be considered battery.  The school would then have to consider whether it was worth defending the parent volunteer.  Parents, teach your kids that no other parent can physically touch them and if they do so, they risk being charged.

I don’t know if Brewer shares any blame in this specific incident regarding Damron.  However, the responsibility cannot be shirked by those higher up.


Where are all the apologist comments now, like were posted Decembert 6th and 7th?


The incidents that folks describe on here are just symptoms of a larger problem.  LCPS is unable to look at itself objectively and its primary focus is to promote an image of a “great” school system.  That’s the best way to create a mess of problems.  Let’s look at this in detail.

1. Instead of focusing on the systemic issues over student suicides, LCPS covers it up.  So another child in the spring of 2016 commits suicide without the parent ever knowing about the student’s expressed intentions.

2. It’s clear that everybody and their brother at Dominion knew about Damron, but my contact told me Brewer asked parents not to “embarrass the school”.  That’s how abuse gets covered up .... don’t expose a family’s “dirty laundry”.

3. LCPS has horrible scores on the PISA exams.  Instead of owning the results and trying to improve, Dr. Williams removes the results from the LCPS website and terminates the Asst Supt who included the results in an LCSB briefing.

4. We have deficits of bus drivers and maintenance staff.  Buildings do not have recent safety features.  But our school board dismisses such complaints and directs funding from other depts to their spouses without disclosing their conflicts as required by law.

5. Parents have difficulty getting their dyslexic kids diagnosed.  Instead of having intense PUBLIC discussions, it’s buried to protect the LCPS image.

and the list goes on.

Let me repeat a story on here that contrasts the LCPS attitude with that of the military.  Admiral Rickover designed the nuclear submarines to always have backup mechanisms.  The idea was no single point of failure would cause a major incident.  Then, when something did go wrong, even if it was in practice or just a single failure occurred but no major incident, a full debriefing occurred.  Everybody was forced to admit their culpability and LEARN from it.  Nothing was swept under the rug.  Annual audits occurred that were designed to improve processes but also force folks to address key areas.  You can’t fix a problem if you deny it exists.

These problems happen because of leadership.  The school board directs Supt Williams to “promote” the actual school board itself.  Williams directs his reports to suppress all problems from the press and public.  There’s no telling what other problems exist out there.  Folks are so scared of retaliation (and boy will LCPS exercise it as in my case) when folks criticize them.  This organization is just a house of cards. 

I’m not sure what outside of recalling some of these board members will really get a top-to-bottom review.  But if other principals have the same attitude as Brewer (protect the image of the school), then we are in BIG trouble.  The attitude should be to report any/all issues and let’s actually fix the root problems.  I guess they missed leadership 101 in LCPS.


Joe Paterno. Art Briles. Men of outstanding character and reputation. Until evidence of their failures to be just ‘that’ at the alter of protecting the institution. Let’s let this play out before saying ‘never’.


I held Dr. Brewer in esteem until recently, when I observed him make another decision that was so reckless for student well being, in my opinion, that my view of him changed forever. I reported the situation I observed to LCPS. It is difficult to believe someone you admired could make judgement calls that put children at risk, but when it happens, you can’t look the other way.


I have to agree with jrgator12. Dr. Brewer is a great principal and does not deserve to be released because of this. My son was in Damrons music class and we are part of this investigation. I won’t say everything I want to because of that but this should fall apon the LCPS system for not vetting Damron before they hired him. Damron resigned from James Hurbert Blake H.S. in 2012. Was a background check done on him to find out why he resigned before Dominion hired him? Principals don’t do the hiring and firing of staff, The school board does. This is on their hands, not Dr. Brewers. I stand with those urging LCPS to reinstate Dr. Brewer and to force resignations to those on the school board that are directly responsible for the hiring of Damron.


I find myself personally conflicted in this case due to the fact that I saw Dr. Brewer as a great thing for Dominion that often encouraged students, was loved by many of them and faculty and encouraged a great learning environment on a day to day basis and I see why he is so cherished. However, that being said, being a student at Dominion and dealing with Dr. Brewer as a transfer student my senior year who knew my name by my second day there was interesting. I quickly got involved in school activities which meant getting to know Dr. Brewer better. This man is fueled by ego and self-pride, not necessarily a bad thing as it reflects in how much effort he puts into running the school, how ever it can also mean that bad publicity also gets swept under the rug.

I personally never took band therefore never dealt with Damron on a day to day basis however being involved in the school productions I got to know him a bit without ever having a personal conversation. He told many students that they were wasting his time and untalented (it’s not broadway). Along with picking out one young female in particular that already had trouble fitting in by saying things such as “luckily she has boobs or she would be alone for the rest of her life” and referring to her as “annoying”. These were not private conversations but rather remarks made in front of about 45 students.  She personally felt attacked by this and talked to Dr. Brewer with what seemed like little success since Damron continued to make these inappropriate remarks about her and others.
I wish I could say that my experiences with Dr. Brewer had been all great, I fully recognize the extent which he has done great things for Dominion however at one point a parent volunteer choreographing a musical that I was in had referred to me as a “b***h” which a teacher expressed her concern about this parent to me. I expressed my concern about how this parent volunteer was extremely rude to me and what she had said over a squabble that her daughter and I had. The parent volunteer the grabbed me by the wrist in the hallway and dragged me out of site leaving bruises on my wrist. When my parents were called in and the concern was expressed to Dr.Brewer he told us that he would have to get video taped evidence almost as if giving me a chance to come clean before they found the truth, at which point I insisted they look at the security cameras to see, it just so happened that the cameras in that part of the building seemed to not be working that day coincidentally. I was then asked not to return to the musical that I was a part of as a high school student to not cause any more tension between myself and the parent volunteer. I was kicked out of my own high school extracurricular because someone inappropriately grabbed me at school.
This of course is just my personal incident with Dr. Brewer and though I think he is quite capable of doing his job well he also has a tendency to keep the school’s image as a number one priority even over the safety of his students.
Sorry for the long post but consider how my parents felt when their child went through this. There are many highly qualified people that are more than capable of being principle.


@Eyes Watching - It is not true that nothing was done. Mr. Damron was forced out. It is true that LCPS policies and procedures are inadequate for this type of situation, and at least at this time it appears to be true that the LCPS is scapegoating Dr. Brewer for following the policies that they created. LCPS needs to review and update their policies and procedures to allow for dismissal with no letters of recommendation when teachers cross ethical boundaries. If Dr. Brewer ends up paying the price for LCPS’s useless policies, then that will be a loss to DHS and to the county as a whole.


To: Concerned Citizen, many parents brought up Damron’s behavior to Dr. Brewer. Nothing was done. So please don’t act like Dr. Brewer nor the Superintendent didn’t know.


Dr Brewer was and is an upstanding man & the most respectable principal.  It is a shame that he is being used as a scapegoat in this terrible & shocking situation. Innocent until proven guilty: has there been any proof of Dr Brewer’s prior knowledge of the disgusting acts of the teacher while he was under Dominion’s roof?  Until then, he should not be forced to step down. His legacy should not be ruined due to this other mans acts just because they need someone to point a finger at.


Seriously people, Dr. Brewer is an awesome principal with morals. There were many band parents that went directly to Dr. Brewer to complain about the band directors actions so this shouldn’t be a surprise to Dr. Brewer. With that being said, passing the band director on to another school system is shameful.


LCPS knows that Mr. Brewer is a man of character!  He would never knowingly hide something like this.  He follows protocols to a T and expects those around him to do that as well.  Loudoun County Public Schools must not throw a principal under the bus, or the rest of us will know that our county does not stand behind us and we will all live in fear that our jobs are on the line!  We respect what Dr. Brewer has done at Dominion and all of us have looked at him as a model for how we want to be as leaders.


KMD44: Your opinion is the minority one and it’s not surprising you don’t provide and facts to back up your assertions. My kids don’t/won’t go to Dominion, but I wish their principal would be as dedicated as Mr. Brewer.


Dr. Brewer is an amazing principle that puts every ounce of effort and time into that school. He should take pride in all of the amazing students that have came out of that school because he was able to create such a safe environment! He would never knowingly allow this former teacher to work in his school if there was any malfeasance was taking place.

LCPS has a word in who is hired and who is fired. It is unfair to point the finger at Dr. Brewer.

Saying a prayer that he returns to his rightful position soon.


I hate to say it but open your eyes people. Dr. Brewer is a bully plain and simple. He doesn’t care about the students as a whole. He only cares about the students that look like him. He is not a nice person although he claims to be a Christian. I knew the day would finally come where someone would see the real him. You reap what you sow. God doesn’t like ugly and he doesn’t like it when you treat his children of all kinds badly. I believe the staff and the children are better off without him. I believe Loudoun county as a whole including the school system needs s make over and need to move past the “good old boy” mentality.


If he knew, did nothing or not enough, and gave him a great recommendation to get rid of him, then he should indeed take a fall.  I don’t care how beloved he is, so was Joe Pa…you can’t take an action that endangers kids in order to keep a problem silent.  When you place reputation over the safety of children, you become a criminal.


No. This doesn’t make any logical sense. There have been incidents of sexual misconduct in the past and every time Dr. Brewer handled it properly and brought in police and got rid of the teacher. It would make no sense that Dr. Brewer would suddenly change the way he works for Damron. If Dr. Brewer knew of any wrong doing He would have dealt with it appropriately! For God’s sake his daughter went there! The school and the student’s are a matter of the heart for him!


No. This doesn’t make any logical sense. There have been incidents of sexual misconduct in the past and every time Dr. Brewer handled it properly and brought in police and got rid of the teacher. It would make no sense that Dr. Brewer would suddenly change the way he works for Damron. If Dr. Brewer knew of any wrong doing He would have dealt with it appropriately! For God’s sake his daughter went there! The school and the student’s are a matter of the heart for him!


I understand that LCPS needs to proceed carefully on this sensitive issue.  However, operating on what appears to be the common assumption that Dr. Brewer was removed from Dominion High School while the Damron situation is investigated, strikes me as hasty and not in the best interests of the school or students.  It is a horribly disrespectful way to treat a man that has worked endlessly on behalf the Dominion community.  Dr. Brewer has shown himself to be an exemplary principal in every regard.  He is a man of outstanding integrity and character.  I’ve never seen or heard of an education professional as dedicated as he is. How sad that the best and most dedicated in the education profession are treated this way in our school district.  I hope he is reinstated immediately.


If indeed one of the recommendation letters in Damron’s file in Florida has John Brewer’s signature on it, then consider that neither the “resignation” nor recommendation decisions were made without instruction from above (all LCPS job descriptions state principals and teachers report to the superintendent).

Of course, if Dr. Brewer maintains professional silence and takes the fall, I bet he gets a great letter of recommendation


Duncan, you are much too pessimistic. Why LCPS and AG Herring teamed up to use school time to instruct the illegal alien students how to continue violating US immigration laws. I mean, it is critical to the Democrats to get more future votes and the higher ESL numbers help LCSB extort more $$$ from the BOS. I think Williams, Hornberger and Maloney all think those are impressive accomplishments.

Meanwhile the taxpayers and parents are rightfully scared out of their minds.


This is an LCPS issue.  These embolic jokers are so concerned with keeping everything a secret that that culture permeants and interferes with critical issues like public safety. 

The stooges on the School Board gave Dr. Williams a large raise and now they are seeing that this guy and his administration do not have a clue.  That is what you get when you hire a bumpkin from the boondocks and think that LCPS is some country rural school system instead of people that have real experience handling a large suburban school system with diversity and other issues more atone to an urban rather than a rural landscapes. 

If we start electing school board members who don’t want to take us back to Mayberry and understand the reality of the world, we would see less of these issues.


Suicide controversy at Potomac Falls. Sex scandal at Dominion. Pathetic test scores at Park View. Are any of the high schools in Sterling doing a good job with our students?


Dr. Brewer is a man of impeccable integrity and character and he loves the students at DHS.  What other principal makes a point to learn all the incoming freshman names and to personally meet each one of them in the summer.  I hope LCPS does not pen this on Dr. Brewer when ALL hiring/firing decisions are decided by LCPS Personnel and the School Board. Please call/write/visit LCPS/Schoolboard and and tell them to reinstate DR. Brewer immediately!


I have no idea what actually happened.  But I know that there should be a truly outside investigation and not the whitewash by Julia Judkins as in the Loudoun Valley scandal.

Clearly, Damron was allowed to leave without any negative reviews which resulted in an unsuspecting school district hiring him.  Just like military leaders are accountable for not taking sexual assault charges seriously, Dr. Brewer may have to face the consequences.  But I think everyone knows that higher-ups including the attorneys (DeVita), personnel director (Hough), and superintendent Williams were very likely part of this decision. 

Parents and taxpayers should know exactly what type of corruption and passing-the-buck is going on at LCPS.  It appears LCPS is corrupt to its very core and without an independent investigation, nobody will believe the bald assertions that come out of the LCPS castle every day.


I’m sure he’s just taking time off for the holidays to go visit his extended family at Penn State.


And the scapegoating begins…
Dr. Brewer would never knowingly allow illegal activity to be taking place at Dominion. I hope he returns soon.

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