Virginia Superintendent Sends Letter About Teacher's 'Inappropriate Relationships' 2 Years After Instructor Resigned - NBC4 Washington

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Virginia Superintendent Sends Letter About Teacher's 'Inappropriate Relationships' 2 Years After Instructor Resigned

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    Northern Virginia Bureau Reporter David Culver looks into questions around a former Dominion High School teacher after a letter about him was sent to the Virginia Department of Education.

    (Published Thursday, March 16, 2017)

    Loudoun County's superintendent has called for a former band instructor's teaching license to be revoked two years after the instructor resigned -- raising questions about why the call to action wasn't made sooner.

    Brian Damron resigned from his position at Dominion High School in Sterling, Virginia, in 2015 before starting a teaching job in Florida.

    In a letter dated Jan. 10, 2017, Loudoun County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Eric Williams asks the Virginia Department of Education to cancel Damron's license, saying he "engaged in numerous behaviors that were inappropriate” including an inappropriate relationship with an 18-year-old male student. Williams said Damron also provided the 18-year-old student with alcohol during a trip.

    Damron "insulted or demeaned students and cursed at and in front of students. He also frequently hugged students, particularly male students, making them feel uncomfortable,” Williams said in the letter.

    But these allegations against Damron weren't acknowledged by the school system until now.

    Similar allegations surfaced against Damron in 2016 that he had inappropriate sexual relationships with students in Florida and he allegedly boasted about having relationships with students in Loudoun County. Damron resigned from his teaching job in Florida.

    "We first became aware of this late November when the department was contacted by a Jacksonville newspaper,” said Charles Pyle with the Virginia Department of Education.

    In turn, the education department reached out to LCPS and began the process of revoking Damron's teaching license, but Damron voluntarily forfeited his license and it was canceled. 

    “The only difference is that in the case of cancellation the individual has agreed to surrender the license,” Pyle said.

    When Damron left Dominion High School, Principal John Brewer wrote a letter of recommendation for Damron. Brewer has since been placed on leave, although it's not clear how much Brewer knew before he wrote the recommendation letter for Damron.

    School safety advocate Jennifer Alvaro told the News4 I-Team in 2016 that it’s not uncommon for school systems to delay or hold off turning in suspected troubled teachers in an effort to protect their reputations.

    “So they minimize the problem, they shuffle offenders out, they don’t follow existing rules,” Alvaro said.

    The Loudoun County Sheriff's Office opened an investigation, but no charges have been filed.

    LCPS released the following statement on Friday:

    "LCPS central administration received a single complaint about Mr. Damron prior to his resignation in early 2015. The complaint was reported to the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office at the time but did not result in criminal charges. In addition, LCPS central administration conducted an investigation regarding the complaint and determined that there was insufficient evidence to seek license revocation at that time. When LCPS central administration received additional complaints and information regarding Mr. Damron in late 2016, a new investigation was conducted and a petition for license revocation was promptly filed. As a result, Mr. Damron surrendered his Virginia teaching license."