EXCLUSIVE: LCPS officials recommended Dominion teacher for new job after ‘alleged incident’
Damron recently stepped down from a position in a Jacksonville, Fla., school after an investigative report by Duval County School Police substantiated claims that he made sexual advances toward a student.
John Brewer, Dominion principal, and Michael Pierson, LCPS music supervisor, wrote recommendations for Damron to prospective employers. According to LCPS, the school division reported an allegation against Damron to the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office in 2014. The investigation didn’t go forward because the incident happened in another county, according to a statement made by LCPS. Damron resigned from his position at Dominion in January 2015 and began working at Stanton College Preparatory School in Florida in August 2015.
“I regret only that Mr. Damron’s tenure at Dominion High School, shortened abruptly and unexpectedly by personal circumstances, was too brief for him to implement his full multi-year vision for the future of Titan instrumental music,” reads the letter of recommendation written by Brewer, obtained by the Times-Mirror from Duval County Public Schools through a Freedom of Information Act request.
The Dominion principal, who’s held his post at the school since it opened in 2003, abruptly went on leave Dec. 3. The Times-Mirror first reported on the allegations against Damron on Dec. 2. Wayde Byard, public information officer for LCPS, declined to comment on why Brewer went on leave.
Brewer’s letter, dated March 22, 2015, gives a “strong recommendation” for Damron for a position teaching music.
According to LCPS policy, all formal complaints alleging sexual harassment against teachers should be filed with the school's principal.
Brewer was named LCPS' principal of the year in 2010. Since he took leave, 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.
Pierson’s letter, which is not dated but refers to Damron's time at Dominion in the past tense, also gives a positive recommendation for the band director.
“I have no doubt [that] Brian would be a positive addition to your school community,” reads Pierson’s letter. “He is a very talented teacher and will inspire students wherever he is. I recommend him without reservation.”
On Dec. 8, LCPS released a statement about its previous knowledge of allegations against Damron. When LCPS became aware of new allegations against Damron in Florida, the school division says it “promptly” reported the matter to the sheriff's office.
On Dec. 6, the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office told the Times-Mirror the department had opened an investigation into Damron.
According to the Duval County investigative report, Damron told an adult band volunteer “that he left his previous employment due to an allegation by a student of some sort of sexual harassment.” Damron told the band volunteer “it was due to ‘similar allegations,’” but never told him “whether there was any truth in the allegations,” according to the report.
Multiple Stanton students and teachers told Duval County school investigators Damron made references to relationships with former students. One teacher said Damron told him one of the relationships was with a former Dominion student, according to the report.
“Mr. Damron told [a teacher] that at his previous school, Dominion High School, Loudoun County, Virginia, he had a previous band student come back the following year as an instructor,” reads the report. “He admitted to having slept with that previous student, after he came back as an instructor.”
Damron showed pictures of former students he had relationships with to Stanton students, according to the report.
“Mr. Damron pointed to two young men in separate pictures in band uniforms,” reads the report. “He stated that he had had two-year relationships with each of them.”
Damron told a Stanton student he “slept with both of them before,” according to the report. One of the students told Duval County school officials he thought Damron meant he started the relationships after the students graduated and that they looked to be around 18 years old in the photo.
A Loudoun resident who identifies herself as an employee of Loudoun County Public Schools on her Facebook profile commented on a Florida Times-Union article about Damron’s resignation with allegations the teacher showed similar behavior at Dominion.
“This happened at Dominion too,” reads the comment. “Students complained to the administration on multiple occasions about his lewd behavior only to have it not taken seriously. Many students discussed his behavior with the administration but there was never enough proof to have their opinions taken seriously.”
The Loudoun resident continued, “Many students dropped band because of him. So many students suffered because of him and his unprofessional and inappropriate comments. We were so thankful when he left Dominion. So sorry he came there and affected so many more young students.”
LCPS officials declined to comment on the letters of recommendation written by Brewer and Pierson.
-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
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