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School Board puts off Brewer decision, will hold another meeting next week

School Board member Debbie Rose (Algonkian), who said Superintendent Eric Williams has recommended John Brewer be fired. Times-Mirror/Alex Erkiletian
Update, 11:35 p.m.:

No decision was made Monday night on the future of Dr. John Brewer, the embattled principal of Dominion High School who has been on leave for three months.

After four hours of deliberation behind closed doors, the Loudoun County School Board returned to an almost empty board room. There were no Brewer supporters or opponents present, only three members of the media -- a stark contrast to the packed meetings of recent weeks.

Another closed-session School Board meeting will be held March 20.

Tonight's meeting was not broadcast or streamed online, as all regularly scheduled School Board meetings are. When asked why, LCPS spokesman Wayde Byard said it was because “there's nothing to see,” noting the lengthy closed session.

Brewer took administrative leave on Dec. 3, 2016, following allegations that former band director at Dominion, Brian Damron, made inappropriate and sexually-fueled comments to students during his time in Loudoun County. The band director, Damron, resigned from his new position in a Florida school system in late 2016 after similar accusations surfaced..

The Loudoun County Sheriff's Office opened an investigation into Damron's time at Dominion High on Dec. 5, 2016. The investigation lasted a month, closing on Jan. 10. No criminal charges against the former band director are pending.

Brewer and another LCPS administrator wrote letters recommending Damron to prospective employees in Florida.


Related coverage:

-"Dr. Brewer, two Dominions and passing the trash"
-"Hundreds pack into Loudoun School Board meeting, most to support Dominion principal on leave"
-"LCPS officials recommended Dominion teacher for new job after ‘alleged incident’"
-"Dominion parents, students stand up for Principal Brewer to LCPS leaders"
-"Dominion principal goes on leave after allegations against former teacher go public"



Original story, 7:03 p.m.:

The Loudoun County School Board entered a closed session Monday night for an estimated four-hour meeting that could determine Principal John Brewer's future at Dominion High School.

In a barren room, School Board members unanimously raised their hands to enter the closed session. There were no Brewer supporters present at the specially called meeting, a marked contrast to the busy School Board room seen of late.

Vice Chairwoman Brenda Sheridan (Sterling) read out the agenda for the closed meeting. It didn't mention Brewer by name but noted, "Discussion or consideration of disciplining and performance of a specific employee, which is authorized by Section 2.2-3711(A)(1), of the Code of Virginia. Consultation with legal counsel employed by the School Board regarding a specific legal matter involving employment and requiring a provision of legal advice, which is authorized."

Tonight's meeting is not being broadcast or streamed online, as all regularly scheduled School Board meetings are. When asked why, LCPS public information officer Wayde Byard said “there's nothing to see.”

“They went into executive session and went back to their conference room. In four hours they will come out and certify their session,” Byard said around 6:30 p.m.

Brewer vacated his position last December following allegations that a former band director at Dominion made inappropriate and sexually-fueled comments to students during his time at Dominion. The band director, Brian Damron, resigned from his new position in a Florida school system in late 2016 after similar accusations surfaced.

Brewer and another LCPS administrator wrote letters of recommendation for Damron while he was looking to relocate to Florida, raising questions about whether Loudoun officials were "passing the trash" -- a national practice that sees educators with troubling past incidents recommended for positions at new school districts across the country.

According to Loudoun County School Board member Debbie Rose (Algonkian), LCPS Superintendent Eric Williams has recommended Brewer be terminated from his position. School system officials have largely remained quiet on the situation, providing few details or updates surrounding an investigative review.



Comments


ChocolateDinosaur, great comment.  Just by chance, was that a direct quote from the former Supt Hatrick who seemed to close ranks and blame the “rumor” mongers at every chance?


Dr. Brewer is a great man and I agree with him that Damron did nothing wrong.  The guilty ones here are the children who groomed and manipulated Damron into seducing and touching them.  Ultimately this reflects on their parents and those are who should bear the burden of guilt for the rest of their lives.  This is shameful - reinstate Dr. Brewer, rehire Damron, and let’s all move on with our lives.


Gee, L4T, if this guy is such a pervert, maybe the LCSO should investigate. Oh, wait…


It sickens me that Dr. Brewer gave a known pervert who had multiple inappropriate contacts with minors, like staying in a hotel for the weekend and serving alcohol, and making sexual gestures to students…sorry, when the kids needed to be protected, this guy moved a known pervert into another school district to carry on his criminal behavior…


First this is a right to work State, so his chances of winning a suit is minimal.  Second, what is he going to claim, I should not be fired for protecting a pedophile and helping him get a job somewhere else where he again molested kids?  Good luck on that one.  The standard here is did he use reasonable judgement in protecting kids from this person, especially if he was aware of the allegations.  For those of you that think he did, then I hope someone will pray for you.


He did what he did.  They know what he did.  It either merits exoneration and a public apology, reinstatement but sanction, some other form of punishment such as removal from post but not termination of employment, or termination.  They’ve had the facts before them for months and it is ridiculous that this will continue to linger.  If the reason for the delay is being fraidy scared about being sued—you shouldn’t have run for office.  This has gotten cruel for everyone involved and is a classic case of justice delayed being justice denied.  The School Board should be ashamed of themselves.


@Duncan.  “His professional successes derive directly from his exceptional vision, leadership and skills, and captivating persona,” Brewer wrote of Damron. “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…” “Debbie Rose (Algonkian), whose district includes Dominion, emerged from the closed session visibly shaken, and Eric Hornberger (Ashburn) laid his head on the dais as Morse announced the results of the session.”  In August 2015, Damron was hired as a band director at Stanton College Preparatory School, a top-ranked high school in Duval County, FL. There, he was accused of running his hands near the crotch of a 15-year-old student and commenting on his penis size, according to an investigative report from Duval County Public Schools.”

Patty, the mother of the student, said Damron “preyed” on her son and made multiple sexual advances toward him. She said that, in the fall of 2016, she contacted Brewer and Loudoun’s Department of Personnel Services and did not receive a call back.


Brewer has practically zero shot at a wrongful termination lawsuit.  I’ve researched the case law over and over again.  As long as they provided due process (clearly have in this case with a hearing officer and school board review), they can fire him for violating any of the terms of his employment.  That’s not hard to satisfy.

The real question is whether Brewer will waive the exemption on personnel records under FOIA 2.2-3705.1(1).  If he does so, anybody can FOIA LCPS and force them to release the information.  It doesn’t look like Brewer plans to do so.  I’m afraid everyone will have a bad taste in their mouths after this one is over.  And we will never find out why Damron’s license was never revoked by LCPS…. unless we vote in a new school board.


This meeting will consist of 30 minutes discussing Brewer’s future and 3 hours spent trying to cover their tracks for showing Damron to resign, failing to cancel Damron’s license, and trying to convince the public the school board is really protecting the safety of LCPS students. Good luck with that!


unless he broke some law, which he most likely did not, this saga will continue to play out when he sues for wrongful termination.

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