About two dozen Dominion High School students and parents held a peaceful protest in the foyer of the Loudoun County school administration building today.
It comes the morning after Public Information Officer Wayde Byard released a statement about Dominion Principal John Brewer. He did not specifically address Brewer’s employment status, but said in general terms that a grievance procedure could take “several weeks to multiple months” to resolve.
The popular principal is on leave and, according to one School Board member, has been recommended for termination by Superintendent Eric Williams. While scores of speakers have lined up at the past two School Board meetings to praise Brewer for his extraordinary work at Dominion, district leaders largely have remained mum on the controversy.
The students and parents who gathered inside the foyer of the administration building this morning said the letter sent last night made them more upset.
“It’s a letter that says nothing about nothing,” parent Jackie Funk said.
“It was kind of patronizing,” said Amy Curran, president of Dominion’s Parent Teacher Organization. “If they think we’ll be quiet and just go away, they are absolutely wrong.”
Brewer has been on leave since early December, when Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office launched an investigation of Brian Damron, who served as Dominion’s band director from July 2012 to January 2015 under the leadership of Brewer. School records show that Brewer wrote a letter of recommendation for Damron that the band director submitted to Duval County Public Schools in Florida, as part of his application. Damron was later accused of making sexual advances toward a 15-year-old student there. No charges were filed, but the band director has since resigned.
Dominion parent Mark Harrington acknowledged that the school system leaders may not be able to give details about why Brewer is being recommended for termination, because it is a personnel issue, but he said they could give some information. He gave an example of when Brewer spoke to band parents after Damron resigned.
The principal held a meeting with the band parents, including Harrington, and explained that he could not give specifics about why Damron left, but said the band director was not ill, he was not facing criminal charges, and he would likely not return. “Then he talked about the next steps,” Harrington said. “That’s how it’s done. There’s a school that my kid’s in and I don’t know what’s going on.”