Florida Mom Says Former Loudoun Band Director Harassed Her Son, LCSO Investigates

A parent who says a former Dominion High School band director made sexual advances toward her son is speaking up following an announcement that the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office is looking into whether criminal activity took place while he worked in Loudoun County.

The Sheriff’s Office is investigating whether Brian Damron sexually harassed students while he served as the band director at Dominion High School from July 2012 to January 2015. The local investigation was prompted by complaints that Damron made sexual advances toward a student at Duval County Public Schools in Jacksonville, FL, where he worked from 2015 until last month when he resigned.

School records show Damron resigned from the Loudoun school system in January 2015 and that Loudoun administrators later wrote letters of recommendations that Damron submitted to Duval County Public Schools, as part of his application. He resigned from that post in Florida Nov. 1 following an investigation led by the school system into reports from a 15-year-old student that Damron made sexual advances toward him.

According to a statement released today by Loudoun County school administration, the school system received a complaint in 2014 that Damron may have engaged in inappropriate conduct while employed at Dominion High School. Wayde Byard, the schools’ public information officer, said the school division immediately referred the matter to the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office.

“It was determined that the alleged incident took place in another jurisdiction and did not result in charges,” Byard stated.

The teacher worked at James Hubert Blake High in Rockville, MD, before coming to Loudoun.

Since media reports on Damron’s investigation and resignation came out in Florida last week, Loudoun administrators again reported the matter to the Sheriff’s Office. “Loudoun County Public Schools is working collaboratively with the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office on the current investigation and pledges its full support and cooperation,” Byard stated today.

An investigative report from the Duval County school district in Florida found Damron had not committed a crime, but that he used poor judgement and improper communication with students.

Patty, who lives in Jacksonville, FL, said in an interview with Loudoun Now that Damron preyed on her 15-year-old son and touched him inappropriately. She wanted her last name withheld to protect her son.

Her son joined the band at a magnet school near Jacksonville, FL, over the summer as a chance to get to know more of his classmates. Shortly after the school year started, Damron gave the 15-year-old leadership roles, and often asked him to help him out before and after school. Her son saw Damron several times a day, for AP music theory and percussion classes, as well as band practice in the afternoons, Patty said.

Her son told her Damron was “coming on” to him, giving him frequent hugs and speaking to him in sexual innuendos. The student later wrote him a private Facebook message saying that he did not want to offend him, but that he wanted to make it clear that he was not interested in him. Damron replied with an email saying he only wanted to be the student’s friend, and later asked him to delete their message exchange for the protection of both of them, according to the Duval County school system’s report.

The next week, the boy came home crying. He later said, when questioned by the Florida Department of Children and Family Services as part of the school system’s investigation, that Damron had asked him to try on pants for the new band uniforms, according to the report. Then Damron told him, “let’s get naked,” in earshot of other students. He then put his hands near his crotch and commented on the boy’s penis size, according to the report.

The Duval County’s report also states that Damron had told his colleagues that he had a relationship with a former student from his previous job. His personnel record included letters of recommendation from the previous school systems where he had worked, according to a report from the Florida Times-Union.

The investigative report found that Damron did not commit a crime. He resigned Nov. 1, and the student later transferred schools.

Patty described her son as a shy kid who avoids confrontation. “He’s always been a teacher pleaser. If he’s asked to do something, he does it.”

She said her concern, and that of her son’s, is that the band director will get to continue teaching, in part because state law requires employees’ personnel files to remain private.

“That’s the real story here,” she said. “There is a disincentive to make this information public. It allows the district to just pass the trash to the next district.”

Damron’s teaching license is still valid, according to the Florida Department of Education.

John Brewer, principal of Dominion High School who oversaw Damron, is on leave, according to Byard. He said he could not say whether it was a voluntary leave on Brewer’s part or whether it was related to the Damron investigation. Parents have started a petition showing their support for Brewer.

dnadler@loudounnow.com
twitter.com/danielle_nadler

11 thoughts on “Florida Mom Says Former Loudoun Band Director Harassed Her Son, LCSO Investigates

  • 2016-12-08 at 5:15 pm
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    Wayde Byard of LCPS needs to be completely transparent. The reported incident he is likely referring to was an allegation that Damron was with an underage male who was consuming alcohol in Norfolk during a band convention. This is completely unrelated to any allegations of sexual advances at Dominion.

    The question is whether the Dominion principal or any LCPS staff ever received reports of sexual advances by Damron against LCPS students and whether LCPS reported those incidents to LCSO. If such misconduct reports were made and LCPS did not report them to LCSO, then LCPS staff members could be guilty of criminal behavior.

  • 2016-12-09 at 12:21 pm
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    The phenomenon is referred to as the “mobile molester” within the public education community. They don’t address the problem, they shuffle these monsters to another district so they can rid themselves of the problem. It is immoral and shameful.

    “Parents have started a petition showing their support for Brewer.” ??? Are you folks insane? If this guy covered up pedophilia, then he needs to go jail for a very long time.

    Why is it that public sector employees never lose their jobs for gross–even criminal–incompetence?

  • 2016-12-09 at 12:41 pm
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    David, I may be wrong, but I believe the petition is that Brewer should not be the only one to take the fall should evidence come out that LCPS knew about what was going on. Another local newspaper quotes Michael Pierson’s letter recommends Damron “without reservation” which is a little hard to believe under the circumstances.
    Is Pierson on leave?
    Is Brewer’s supervisor on leave?
    Is Brewer on leave due to these allegations, or is there something else going on?

    • 2016-12-09 at 2:16 pm
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      MomTo4, a principal reports directly to the superintendent (Eric Williams). The Asst Supt in charge of personnel is Dr Hough, who is conducting the internal investigation.

      I will give you one guess about the results of an investigation where Dr’s Williams and Hough investigate themselves.

      Drain that swamp

  • 2016-12-09 at 9:41 pm
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    On behalf of the dominion community I would like to point out the petition was not started by parents, it was started by the senior class. Please do not assume what is not known about my community.

  • 2016-12-10 at 11:26 am
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    Loudoun Now seems to have added a link in the article and these parents and students are clearly cheerleading for the principal accused of covering up pedophilia by a LCPS teacher at his school.

    I ask again, are these people insane? Reading their comments and seeing them ignore the gravity and apparent veracity of the accusations, I’m simply appalled.

    • 2017-01-08 at 3:57 pm
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      No your are insane
      A ‘letter of recommendation ‘ are YOUR grounds?
      He is the best principal I have ever seen.
      2000 signatures to the petition don’t mean anything to you?
      Where did this band leader come from? Does he have a criminal history?
      What background information was provided to DHS?
      I DOUBT ANY NEGATIVE INFORMATION WAS PROVIDED
      Has LCSC made any information available about this man? ARE THEY PLANNING TO? AND WHEN?
      Isn’t it possible a great man like Dr Brewer is being held accountable for Montgomery and Loudoun County school systems errors?
      Isn’t it possible the teacher’s behavior started in Florida?

      Is it possible the student in Florida is lying? Did other students cooborate his accusations? Are his parents trying to make money on a lawsuit?

      To those of us, students, teachers and parents (like myself) who have had the privilege of having Dr Brewer as our principle, I WOULD ASK YOU TO WORK HARDER, speak to us, meet with us and not be a willing participant in harming a great man because of your prejudice and lack of professionalism.

      NO ONE WANTS PEDOFILES to have access to children

      I track the news about the pedofile networks. I am aware how the literally get away with murder. Something is completely wrong with this situation.

      Act like a competent journalist and join me in demanding this teacher’s background information and his Montgomery and Loudoun County school records be immediately made public.

      703.282.3609 is my cell
      I doubt you will call
      It is just the kind of person you are.

  • 2016-12-10 at 4:49 pm
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    DD, it’s even worse than you describe. Are any of these students/parents demanding a full and transparent investigation from outside the conflicted school board/administration? Do they even care whether vulnerable students were preyed upon by Damron who was then sent on his merry way to prey upon more children? Are they concerned about rooting out ALL the LCPS “leaders” who are more worried about “embarrassments” than protecting kids? No. They only seem to care about me, me, me. “I like Brewer, therefore he should be reinstated.”.

    It’s one thing to vouch for one’s own interactions with Brewer. It’s completely another to not even consider students who had nobody to speak for them. Pedophiles don’t typically prey upon the student class presidents. They prey upon those without support systems who have little sense of belonging. As long as so many in this county get what they want, they don’t seem to give one iota of concern to those least protected.

    Consider the case of Rafe Esquith of LA’s school system. He was by all account’s a terrific 5th grade teacher. While renowned worldwide for his Shakespearean plays with his class, he was a terrific math teacher as well (look at the value-added data published by a hard-nosed investigative paper – LA Times). But he also preyed upon the most vulnerable, sending racy emails to former students in middle school (read the 32-page complaint linked in the post and the comments section of the blog). Rather than encourage the school system to remove a teacher preying upon weak students, teachers unions and teachers across the nation wanted him reinstated! Even WaPo’s Jay Matthews refused to believe the hard evidence this guy was a predator. A WaPo reporter should know better!

    Which leads us to this question. What is the LEA’s position on this? Does President David Palanzi think we should have an “inclusive” environment for teachers like Damron who recruit teenagers for intimate relationships after they graduate? Or does LEA support disclosing the troubling information on teachers after they depart to prospective employers? I’m guessing it’s the former but nobody is even forcing LEA to take a stand.

    Yes, it’s hard to stand up for those who can’t speak for themselves when LCPS and the unions will do everything in their power to tear you down and dismiss your warnings. Folks will tell you why worry, it’s somebody else’s problem. Believe me, I know. But can you really live with yourself knowing what happened in Penn State’s Sandusky case?

    Stand by folks as this will be swept under the rug (LCSO can only do so much because they can only invetigate crimes, not unethical actions), the senior “leaders” and attorneys of LCPS will righteously pin this on lower levels, and LCPS will continue to be an infested swamp (the majority) with zero concern for the well-being of students.

  • 2016-12-11 at 10:56 am
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    A copy of Brewer’s recommendation letter appears to be floating around the community. For reasons I list in my Facebook post, I do not believe Brewer wrote the letter but it does appear he signed it.

    The question remains who knew about the recommendation of Damron, who may have pressured Brewer to sign it, and who is actually conducting an independent investigation of all those involved in these personnel actions by LCPS. If, as usual, the “senior leaders” are investigating themselves with the foregone conclusion that leadership was great, these types of incidents will continue to happen again and again. What will you do to prevent that? Will you speak up at a LCSB meeting? Will you demand all LCSB members clean house? Will you demand the full investigation be released?

  • 2017-02-15 at 12:43 pm
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    After all the marches, rallies and speeches from parents, students and teachers; impassioned
    exhortations by Mr. Brewer’s wife; letters to newspapers, etc., the bottom line is exactly as stated by the previous writer: “The question is whether the Dominion principal or any LCPS staff ever received reports of sexual advances by Damron against LCPS students and whether LCPS reported those incidents to LCSO.”

    The current public outcry, however well meaning, is an emotional waste of time. The public does not know all the facts–nor are they entitled to the facts–while an investigation is ongoing and cannot be compromised. Let the investigation move forward to completion.

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