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Former LCPS band director accused of making sexual advances toward students

Former Dominion High School band director Brian Damron resigned from a position in a Florida school system Nov. 1 after an internal investigation substantiated claims that he allegedly made sexual advances toward a student, among other inappropriate behavior.

According to an investigative report by Duval County School Police, Damron made statements about having relationships with former Dominion students and having to leave the school after being accused of sexual harassment.

Damron, who started working as a band director at Stanton College Preparatory School in Jacksonville, Fla., in August 2015, is accused of showing “extremely poor judgement” by using inappropriate language with students by Duval County Public Schools. An attorney representing Damron has denied the allegations, according to The Florida Times-Union, who first reported Damron’s resignation. Duval County School Police did not issue an arrest due to “insufficient probable cause.” An official from the Florida State Attorney’s Office would not confirm or deny an investigation into the teacher.

Loudoun County Public Schools officials confirmed Damron worked at Dominion from fall 2012 until January 2015. According to the Times-Union, the teacher left Dominion for “personal reasons.” Wayde Byard, public information officer for Loudoun County schools, said he could not disclose the reason for Damron’s exit.

“It is the practice of Loudoun County Public Schools not to comment on matters involving personnel,” Byard said.

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 officials 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 the Times-Union article with allegations Damron 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.”

Damron was reprimanded by Duval County schools twice in October 2015 for allegedly verbally abusing students and making sexual comments to them, according to the report. The school system launched a formal investigation in September after a mother reported Damron was allegedly making sexual advances toward her son.

According to the report, the mother showed school officials screenshots of messages between Damron and her son. Damron asked the student to delete the messages “for both our protection,” according to the report.

The student told Duval County school officials that Damron asked him to change into new band uniform pants in front of him and said “let’s get naked” loud enough for other students to hear. Another student confirmed he heard Damron make the statement, according to the report.

Damron allegedly ran his finger up the student’s pants toward his genitals when he tried them on, according to the report.

Damron also worked at James Hubert Blake High School in Rockville, Md., from 2002 until he resigned in Aug. 2012, according to Montgomery County Public Schools.

Belkis Plata, Damron’s attorney, told the Times-Mirror she had “no comment” on the allegations against her client.

Comments


VirginiaSGP - There is a lot of new information in your response, so it looks like you have more intimate knowledge of what happened. Fair enough. I do not wish to wash my hands of what happened, and I completely agree that Damron’s behavior at DHS was inappropriate at best and probably predatory. However, there are employment and confidentiality laws in place that protect all of us so that we cannot have our lives ruined by specious claims. Sadly these laws also allow people like Damron, who walked (possibly) just barely inside the line of legal, to move into a new position. If LCPS was able to provide a reference that included “this man is possibly a predator” without being sued, I would HOPE that they would have done so. I’m concerned that the article in the Jacksonville newspaper says that previous supervisors said they were unaware of complaints against this man. If that includes DHS/LCPS, then we for sure need a thorough investigation.


AnneB, I have no direct knowledge nor did I witness these events.  I am relaying hearsay but it is consistent with the allegations from Florida.  If LTM allowed links, I would post a picture of Damron flanked by 4 young males (2 on each side) dressed in short toga uniforms (bare legs).  I understand one is 18 years old, was a former band student, and may have had a romantic relationship with Damron after graduating.  This would include the boy being hired as a band assistant by Damron to “continue his career”.

If this hearsay is true, it raises other questions.  Is faculty allowed to fraternize with each other?  If so, is that allowed in a supervisor/employee relationship?  Maybe (in a million years) LCPS will release info on their policies.

Next, there are unsubstantiated allegations that in Nov 2014, witnesses observed Damron in Norfolk at a conference in the presence of an 18-yr-old with alcohol.  Allegedly, a police report was made of the incident.  Regardless of whether Damron bought the alcohol or not, (if true) the fact that he knew the kid, was an LCPS faculty member, and socialized with an underage drinker raises big questions.  Their are allegations that Damron went on leave after this incident and resigned within the next 2-3 months from LCPS.

Which brings us to the question of how he ended up in Florida.  I am unaware of any individual being hired by another district, especially when “resigning” in the middle of one year, without a contact to their previous employer.  So whether there was a written evaluation or whether it was just a phone call to LCPS, it is inconceivable that the Florida district did not contact LCPS prior to hiring him.  Why wasn’t the Florida district told of these allegations?

I am reminded of former Asst Supt Terri Breeden who was forced out by Supt Williams about 18 months ago.  She was actually being considered for Supt of 3 different districts.  How does a senior staff member get forced out in one district but have other districts consider her for supt and remain completely unaware of the issues surrounding her departure?  I posted info in online forums, was contacted by the Charleston, SC district about her, relayed the info I had and Charleston stopped considering her. 

AnneB, you can try to wash your hands all you want.  While I consider incompetent management to be disqualifying as well, everyone would consider sexual misconduct to be disqualifying.  At the very least, the Florida district should have been informed that a high school teacher was sleeping with former students immediately after graduation.  Let them make their own call.  Schools are in the business of protecting kids, not turning their backs on them for the benefit of the adults.  Oh wait, I guess LCPS does this repeatedly.


VirginiaSGP, where did you get the information that Damron allegedly had former students living with him?
And where did you see he received a letter of recommendation from LCPS?


Jrgator12 makes excellent points. 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.


ALL hiring/firing decisions are decided by LCPS Personnel and the School Board. Principals don’t have the authority to fire someone.  These are contract employees and any issues go before Personnel and all higher ups are notified as well as goes before the school board to terminate or not.  A Principal can only do so much.  Dr. Brewer loves DHS and I’m sure handled this matter per LCPS protocol.  If LCPS makes Dr. Brewer the scape goat it would be a travesty.  Heads need to roll in Personnel.  Keep in mind though that if this pedophile resigned in lieu of termination, I’m sure an investigation wasn’t done into his actions. Therefore, if LCPS were to give a negative recommendation in todays litigious society, it would be this pedophile suing LCPS for defamation.  Please call/write/visit LCPS/Schoolboard and tell them to reinstate DR. Brewer immediately!


The investigation will reveal more.  But here is what we know.

1. He allegedly had former male students living with them shortly after they graduated and turned 18.  This is legal if it only occurred afterwards.  If you believe he didn’t at least make sexual advances prior to either 18/graduation, I have a bridge to sell.

2. It is alleged that he was given a recommendation by LCPS for the Florida job.  We essentially have a sexual predator being pressed to leave LCPS and then recommended to another district.  How is that any different than the priest cover-up?

The issue here is a mismatch in power.  You have an older teacher coming on (flirting) to young, impressionable students.  He was essentially using his teaching position to identify new young sexual partners.  Even if this is not illegal, it is inappropriate.  And we shouldn’t be passing them on to other districts.  That is morally wrong.


We have hearsay that students complained about inappropriate conduct and coarse language in the classroom, but there was, while Damron was at DHS, no evidence that he crossed any legal lines as far as I can tell. What we have from Florida is that ** he says ** he had sex with former students, after they were 18. I am not surprised that there was not enough to pin something more definite in him. It looks like he was careful to not cross the line while he was an employee of LCPS.


I’m wondering if political correctness played a role in LCPS officials not coming down harder when the allegations were first raised? In other words, would a male teacher accused of targeting high school girls have been allowed to quietly move on to another teaching post?

It reminds me a bit of the Muslim terrorist who exhibited all kinds of suspicious behavior….and went unreported by his neighbors who didn’t want to be branded “Islamaphobic.” Or Jayson Blair, whose plagiarism and malfeasance were open secrets at the New York Times, but nobody wanted to call him on it for fear of being branded a racist.

While it’s impossible to get inside of somebody’s head to determine their true motivation, it’s a fair question to ask whether the “homophobia card” was played here to the alleged perp’s advantage.


If this happened at LCPS and parents and the administration knew of it, how was he able to leave the Commonwealth and go do the same thing at another school elsewhere?  There are some out there with filthy hands that need to come clean that they covered up for this POS.


LCPS kept their skirts clean, breathed a sigh of relief when he finally left, and endangered a whole new group of kids in the process. 

Inexcusable.


The fact that LCPS had ample information that this man acted inappropriately toward students but yet allowed him to resign without a termination for cause is very disturbing.  Had he been terminated, the Florida school district would not have hired him.  It’s no different than Catholic priests passing the buck to someone else at the expense of kids’ well-being.

I admit that I was informed about this man’s inappropriate behavior and his move to Florida months ago.  Because I did not have direct information, I did not post this online since it could be deemed defamation.  But the person(s) who informed me made it clear that LCPS had ample information and forced him out.  But because they were unwilling to accept responsibility for doing so, they put other children in harm’s way.  Completely unacceptable behavior by LCPS.  There should be an independent investigation into LCPS’ actions.  We know Plowman prosecuted an assistant principal for much less (and inappropriately I might add).  Let’s see if Plowman or anyone else will step up and ensure laws are followed and ethics are upheld.

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