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Wife of Dominion High School principal on leave adds voice to supporters calling for his return

Supporters of Dr. John Brewer, the Dominion High School principal on leave, at the Feb. 14 School Board meeting. Times-Mirror/Chantalle Edmunds
Rachel Brewer was the eighth speaker out of more than 80 to take to the floor at the Loudoun County Public School Board meeting Tuesday night. Like all the speakers present, the first-grade teacher from Mill Run elementary was given a minute to state her points to the School Board.

But as the wife of embattled principal-on-leave Dr. John Brewer, Mrs. Brewer's comments were especially noteworthy.

“When John and I came here to teach over 22 years ago, it was about much more than teaching. It was two incredibly broken people with a desire to show other broken people that they mattered, that their home life, their mistakes their poor choices didn't have to define them -- that each day is a new day, a new hope for the future, to make our lives and the world around us a better place,” Brewer said. “When John had the privilege 15 years ago to open Dominion, he had the unique opportunity to install that attitude of hope from the start, first in bringing two very different communities together and then bringing a incredible staff of teachers to serve the Titans. He's served Dominion with a continued vision that he most of all is broken and daily needs the willingness to say I'm sorry.”

There was a Valentine's Day theme among attendees at the board meeting. Some wore red and carried heart-shaped balloons.

Other speakers, including Chris Brent, talked about finding “a home” at Dominion High thanks to Dr. Brewer. Brent said he spent his childhood living in shelters.

Deborah Powers recalled a time when Dr. Brewer got on the school bus at the end of the day to say, “Miss Powers, I forgot to wish you a happy birthday.”

Dave Bridgeland was 28th speaker to address the board. He had a concise message: “Fire [Superintendent] Eric Williams before he pushes more principals to leave.”

Brewer was placed on leave in December 2016, 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 the Florida school system and then resigned, Nov. 1, 2016 after an investigation substantiated claims that he made sexual advances toward a student there. No charges were filed.

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 the investigation.

Last month LCPS issued a statement saying “several weeks to multiple months may elapse between an employee taking leave in connection with an investigation and action by the School Board on a recommendation for dismissal.”

The statement went on, “The time this process requires is not solely dependent on the timing of actions by LCPS, but instead is also significantly affected by the timing of actions of others, including the involved employee and his/her attorney.”

To date LCPS hasn't confirmed a time line as to when a decision on the fate of Dr. Brewer will be made.

While hundreds of LCPS parents, students and former students have spoke out in support of Brewer in recent months, others, largely wishing to remain anonymous for fear of retribution should Brewer return, have expressed relief over his absence.

Anti-Brewer voices have argued the principal, in effect, endangered students by endorsing Damron for future employment.

While yard and highway signs have sprouted up in the Dominion community calling for Brewer's reinstatement, at least one was altered to say "Don't Bring Back Brewer."

"What if it were your child?" the sign read.

Courtesy Photo


Comments


“Broken people” may be able to teach and do other jobs, but they should not be in a position in which children’s safety is at risk. Brewer has exercised gross misjudgement that has harmed children before; this latest is just the tip of the iceberg. Unless it were your child, you might now know about the other times he has put children at risk. Let’s respect that there are people who are relieved he is gone because of their experiences with him, and it shouldn’t matter if they are quiet about it or even if there are less of them. Every one of their children matter, and putting them back in Brewer’s hands would be a huge risk for the county as well as the children.


If your child were involved in one of Brewer’s gross misjudgements (I know for a fact this was not the only one), you might think twice about putting him back in a position of supervising your kids.

I saw a sign “don’t bring Brewer back - what if it were your child?” on Algonkian parkway on my way to work. When I returned home the same day, it had been removed and there were four “bring Brewer back” signs where it had been.

Make no mistake, there are plenty of children and families thankful that he is gone, but it is difficult for them to speak out at their school when their teachers are loudly supporting him and won’t let this go. And when someone does speak out, such as this sign, Brewer supports can’t stand it and take the signs down. Can we please support the children who are glad he is gone and let them have a voice?


I am simply amazed the number of parents who are supporting this guy, who recommended Damron AFTER they learned of his behavior. AFTER they knew about it, Brewer recommended him to continue teaching. My heavens what are these parents thinking? Wow. I feel sorry for the rest of the kids at this school who are being put at risk by the parents support of this guy.


When accusations are just that….. accusations….. you cannot disparage them lest it come back to you. I blame LCPS in their vetting of this person Damron….. and I am very glad that a parent in Florida was parenting enough to find undisputable evidence on her sons phone to bring justice to this person. The unbelievable stories from soooo many students who give up time, money, jobs, etc to come before this board to tell their personal stories is just amazing in the scope of this backlash. This diverse community needs Dr. Brewer….. Dominion High School has not become the top ranking school in Loudoun County, in Virginia as well as nationally on its own.. Brewers leadership is the real reason. And we need more of it…..


Haha, Buff. I am guessing that if you or a family member are ever in line for termination “regardless of the facts,” you won’t be sitting quietly twiddling your thumbs.


The only person who deserved to be fired for this was the teacher who crossed some ethical boundaries with his students. Not legal boundaries, mind you - neither in VA nor in FL was the teacher prosecuted. The fact that in both states he was allowed to resign should tell our school board what they need to know. Dr. Brewer is not accountable for the failures of school system policies.
If there was evidence of wrong-doing on Dr. Brewer’s part, that would have come to light a long time ago. The investigation has been going on for over two months now, and they are simply digging and digging in order to find something, anything, that can justify their ridiculous treatment of an honored principal.


Oh Buffcuse3, where are you coming from? Dr. Brewer’s wife has been standing by quietly for 2 months. She decides (likely on her own) to speak up - and that offends you? Come on, dude.


OK, for me at least, this has hit a new low.  Using his wife in a play for sympathy—what, doesn’t he have an elderly relative he can trot out—indicates to me that Brewer is orchestrating this entire thing.  He is shamelessly manipulating the emotions of the community and putting everyone through a meat-grinder to keep his job.  This needs to stop and if Brewer cared one iota about the Dominion community he’d stop it.  This has become nothing more than a thinly veiled effort by a guy who bleeped up royally to hang onto his job. 

It’s time for this to be over.  Fire him and move on.  He now deserves it, almost regardless of the facts in the original case, by his approval of this community-tearing-apart campaign. 


Undeniable, JPL?  I deny it.  You should not believe everything you read in online comments.


@Duncan.  So of all the children in Sterling that go to DHS, the only ones with problems are the “Lowes Island Estates” children. Your statement tells us a lot about you.  Ignorance.


“Anti-Brewer voices have argued the principal, in effect, endangered students by endorsing Damron for future employment.”

Undeniable.

Fire this guy already.


Plenty of other things in the news. I’m sure you can ignore just fine. The only thing stale is your cult reference in every post. I guess originality isn’t your strong suit.


The Cult of Williams in unrelenting.

This do-nothing bureaucrat needs to listen to the parents and students of Dominion High School and end this witch hunt. We know the Lowes Island Estates parents (the ones with problem children) are in his ear to replace Brewer with a more compliant principal who will look the other way when their precious snowflakes get in trouble.


The Cult of Brewer is unrelenting.

Everyone needs to just let it go and move on with their lives, tired of hearing about this.

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