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‘Fantastic’ to be back: Brewer returns to Dominion

Dr. John Brewer speaks with students during his first day back at Dominion High School Monday. Times-Mirror/Alex Erkiletian
Dominion High School Principal John Brewer returned to Dominion Monday after a nearly four-month absence.

Brewer requested no special events or treatment at school Monday, according to several LCPS parents, but staff, parents and former students greeted Brewer this evening at Senor Tequila in Cascades with a hero's welcome. Claps and cheers filled the restaurant as Brewer made his way in. He eventually went table to table for hugs.

School staff reflected on Dr. Brewer's first day back.

“It's been awesome. I expected it to be different, but it was a very good normal, and it hasn't been a good normal since December, so it was really excellent,” said teacher Steve Hicks, who's been at the school since it opened in 2003. “The kids were less anxious.”

“It was a wonderful feeling. You could tell there was an aura in the building,” said teacher Sally Carlo. “I could feel it in the building. There was a lot of clapping when he gave the announcements to the students this morning.”

Brewer told the Times-Mirror it was “fantastic” to be back.

The principal's return follows a tumultuous few months. In March, the LCPS School Board announced its decision to approve Superintendent Eric Williams' recommendation that Brewer be dismissed from his post.

However, the School Board went on to offer the beleaguered principal his position back on an annual contract for three years, but on a probationary status. The School Board set out a long list of terms and conditions for Brewer's new contract, including training him in a number of areas, including child abuse and neglect reporting, appropriate and timely communication with supervisors and other employers, recognizing and reporting incidents of inappropriate relationships between students and staff, plus Constitutional Law training related to religion in public schools.

Brewer was placed on leave last December, a move that coincided with an investigation into the behavior of former Dominion band director Brian Damron. As first reported by the Times-Mirror, Brewer wrote a letter of recommendation for Brian Damron to employers in Florida, even after the Loudoun County Public School system reported an alleged incident of inappropriate behavior involving Damron to police in November 2014. The investigation didn’t go forward because the incident happened in another county, according to a statement made by LCPS.

Damron went on to be hired by a Florida school system and then resigned on Nov. 1, 2016, after an investigation substantiated claims that he made sexual advances toward a student there. No charges were filed.

Last month the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office confirmed its investigation into Damron's time at Dominion High School is closed.

Dr. Brewer greets a supporter at a Cascades restaurant. Times-Mirror/Chantalle Edmunds


I’m tellin ya. All the world needs are warm hugs. See!

SGP.  Why should DR Brewer do anything that you say?  Your morbid need to be in control is not what concerns him.  Time to accept that you simply don’t matter in this story

Disappointing ending to a sad story.  Justice was not served by any means.

AnnaB, if Brewer is releasing info, why doesn’t he waive his personnel exemption so papers like LTM can get FOIA records? Forgive me if I don’t accept your third-hand accounts via a church as gospel.

I am not sure why you think I want to spend a lot of tax $$. The LCSB has provided virtually nothing to the public, No stats, no policy, no explanation on such incidents. I do think it is worthwhile for the BOS to withhold $$ from LCSB until more answers are provided or they can authorize their own investigation. I understand you are willing to trust the school board and blame everything on their manager - Williams - even though he can’t say anything without the board’s approval. Interesting viewpoint you have there.  Politicians must love you for only holding bureaucrats accountable.

Virginia SGP seems to think we have unlimited tax dollars to spend to satisfy his thirst for blood when it comes to LCPS.
Doeyjune, the LCSO has investigated and - just like in FL - there are no charges pending. The case is closed.
The independent hearing officer who reviewed the case against Dr. Brewer found nothing that warranted his termination. No one individual complaint, nor all the complaints counted together. (This information did not come from LCSB as it refers to a confidential employee matter; it was released by Dr. Brewer himself, via his church.)
Why was Pierson exempt from the brouhaha? My take is that this is because the students and parents who had complaints went to Brewer and not to Pierson. It appears to have been a witch hunt directed by superintendent Williams. He’s the one who should still be on probation as a new employee of the school system, but instead he got his contract renewed last summer.

doeyjune, all good questions.  LTM is restricted by the willingness of the school board to cooperate.  So far, the school board has shown zero willingness to be transparent in its policies or this investigation (what other incidents did they uncover throughout LCPS going back 10-15 years).

If you want transparency and accountability, there really is only one answer.  Elect a new school board at the first chance.

Is there any chance now that there will be a further inquiry into what happened with Damron?  Why there has been no accountability for Michael Pierson, who also wrote a recommendation letter?  When and what other administration officials were aware of?  Will the School Board look into any of this?  How about the Loudoun Times?

Welcome back, Dr. Brewer. I know you will treat your critics with more grace than they treated you.

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