After a months-long investigation, the Loudoun County School Board unanimously voted to terminate Dominion High School Principal John Brewer’s continuous contract following a closed meeting March 20.
In a split vote, the board subsequently offered to re-hire Brewer on a year-to-year basis for the next three years with conditions. Eric Hornberger (Ashburn), Brenda Sheridan (Sterling) and Jill Turgeon (Blue Ridge) voted against the motion to re-hire.
Brewer was placed on administrative leave on Dec. 3, 2016, following allegations against former Dominion band instructor Brian Damron and Brewer’s letter of recommendation on his behalf.
Damron left his teaching position at Dominion in early 2015 for a similar position at Stanton College Preparatory School in Duval County, Florida where he reportedly made sexual advanced toward a male student and inappropriate comments to and in front other students. Damron was reprimanded for these actions, which led to further scrutiny of his employment while in Loudoun County, including a complaint filed against him prior to his departure.
LCPS investigated that complaint and determined that there was insufficient evidence to seek a revocation of Damron’s teaching license, Public Information Officer Wayde Byard said.
When LCPS received additional complaints and information about Damron in late 2016, LCPS opened a new investigation and Superintendent Eric Williams filed a petition to revoke Damron’s Virginia teaching license. As a result, Damron surrendered his license, Byard said.
Concurrent with placing Brewer on leave, LCPS launched an internal investigation of whether there was negligence or wrongdoing on his part that may have put Dominion and Stanton College Prep students at risk. In the course of that investigation, Williams is said to have recommended that the school board fire Brewer.
Brewer has 10 days to accept the re-employment offer, which comes with strings. Should he accept, he will begin work on April 17 but will not be paid from the date of his termination until that date, approximately one month.
Brewer will also have to accept training on child abuse and neglect reporting as directed by Williams. He will further have to agree to training to help him recognize and report instances of inappropriate relationships between staff and students as well as understanding laws related to the practice of religion in public schools, Morse said.
If Brewer accepts the year-to-year position with these terms, he’ll also be issued a letter of reprimand by Williams.
For months, a group of vocal Dominion parents and students and others have stood up for Brewer and urged his reinstatement. Hundreds have testified on Brewer’s behalf including more than 70 during a school board meeting on Jan. 24.