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SLO High School teacher, basketball coach on leave after misconduct allegations

Jeffrey Brandow.png
Posted at 7:42 PM, Jul 12, 2023

A San Luis Obispo High School teacher and boy's basketball coach is on paid administrative leave.

San Luis Coastal Unified School District Superintendent Eric Prater confirmed in an email to KSBY that Jeffrey Brandow was placed on leave in March. KSBY News has learned the administrative action stems from allegations of misconduct involving a student.

Multiple calls to Prater's office were not returned. Prater in the email declined to comment on the allegations as the district does not comment on “personnel matters.”

In a follow-up email, Prater said that the district was aware of misconduct allegations in the fall of 2022 and "immediately initiated an investigation and sought the cooperation of witnesses." The district will determine whether any policies or regulations were violated at the conclusion of the investigation, Prater said, and, if needed, "take appropriate correction action."

The district conducts a thorough investigation whenever it receives allegations of misconduct involving an employee, Prater said in the follow-up.

"Investigations of this nature depend upon witnesses coming forward and providing information to the district," Prater said in the follow-up email. "We can only act based upon credible, verifiable evidence. When that information is not available to the district, that impacts our ability to determine whether employees have engaged in the alleged misconduct or not."

Prater said the district's No. 1 priority is student and staff safety, noting that the district implemented "Safe Sports Policy" — a framework meant to "ensure a safe and enriching experience for all Student Athletes participating in extracurricular athletics," according to the district's website.

Brandow has been accused of sexual harassment in the past. In 2018, a former KSBY employee filed a restraining order against him.

A restraining order granted

The former KSBY employee described the abuse as occurring “nearly every day” since June 1 of that year, according to the restraining order application filed in San Luis Obispo County Superior Court on Aug. 7 and reviewed by KSBY.

The former KSBY employee detailed a long list of harassment, including calls to her work phone 50 to 100 times per day, which included Brandow “scrambling” his phone number to work around it being blocked, according to the application.

The former KSBY employee also said in the application that Brandow left nearly 100 pages of letters at her home, work and car “all unannounced,” and that Brandow had admitted to waiting outside the individual’s home for hours.

In one letter by Brandow attached with the application, Brandow admitted to his behavior while also offering to pay the individual — described as a bribe — thousands of dollars for certain acts.

In a check dated July 30, 2018, Brandow offered the former KSBY employee $1,000 to talk, $10,000 to go on dates and $20,000 if they were “all in,” according to the check reviewed by KSBY.

“ … Yes I call on repeat, yes I emailed your work, yes I sit on your street to see you,” Brandow wrote in a letter to the former KSBY employee. “Don’t you want an intense lover who would die/do anything for you???”

The former KSBY employee said the actions by Brandow “cause[d] me anxiety, stress and emotional discomfort,” according to the application.

"I am afraid of losing my job," the former employee wrote in the application. "I am afraid to be home alone, I am afraid of dating or socializing because it triggers him."

The former KSBY employee confirmed some details in the application to KSBY and said that Brandow's actions caused emotional trauma. She asked to remain anonymous.

A temporary restraining order was granted on Aug. 8, 2018, and a full restraining order was granted following a hearing on Aug. 22, 2018.

The order required Brandow to not contact the employee in any way and to stay at least 10 yards away, among other things.

That restraining order expired on Nov. 22, 2018.

KSBY News left a message for Brandow seeking comment, but he has not yet returned that call.

Brandow has worked for San Luis Obispo High School since 2012 and teaches history and social sciences and is the boy's basketball coach.

Editor's Note: This article was updated July 24 to include portions of a follow-up statement emailed by Superintendent Eric Prater in response to questions by KSBY.