Former SLO High School student sues over alleged sexual misconduct

November 14, 2023

Jeff Brandow


An 18-year-old woman who attended San Luis Obispo High School is suing the school district and a former teacher, contending that the instructor sexually harassed her and that school administrators knew or should have known that Jeff Brandow was unfit work at the school.

During the 2021- 2022 school year, as a junior, Jane Doe took Brandow’s history class. Brandow commented on Doe’s breasts and buttocks on a daily basis, according to the suit. Because the student is an alleged victim of sexual harassment, CalCoastNews is referring to her as Jane Doe.

In the classroom, Brandow asked female students about their sex lives. He told Doe he wished he could have sex with the girls he came across, according to the lawsuit.

“Towards the end of her junior year, Brandow began targeting Doe with an ultimate intent of engaging in a sexual relationship with her,” the lawsuit says. “He would try and talk to her about sex, asked her to meet up with him at bars, and talked about how they should ‘hang out’ once she graduated from high school. While she was sitting close to Brandow in class, he would regularly tap and rub her legs.”

During the start of Doe’s senior year, Brandow’s alleged sexual harassment became progressively worse with increased physical contact and sexual comments.

At a friend’s birthday party in Oct, 2022, Brandow sent Doe a text message attempting to get her to meet with him. While Doe was showing a friend the text, a fellow student grabbed her phone, read the text out loud to other partygoers, and said publicly, “Yo, he’s getting fired.”

The partygoers immediately realized that Brandow was attempting to get Doe to have sex with him. Based on his text message, one attendee said, “He is going to prison.”

A few days later, Brandow forcefully grabbed Doe by the arm and demanded she delete the text messages he had sent her, according to the suit. She told Brandow she would do it when she got home and he said, “No, you’ll do it now.”

Terrified and intimidated, Doe started deleting the messages, according to the suit. Brandow then
pressed his body up against her, putting his crotch on her hip and his elbow against her breast, and said, “Nobody can know about this.”

However, several students reported the inappropriate texts which prompted Assistant Principal Desiree Dellinger to call Doe into her office. Dellinger then took photos of the inappropriate texts and insisted on knowing the names of all students who saw the texts.

Doe “felt like she was in an interrogation,” according to the lawsuit. “Dellinger told Doe to not tell anyone about this, including her parents.”

However, Doe had a panic attack and left school to talk to her sister. After discovering school administrators had failed to inform her of the alleged sexual harassment, Doe’s mother contacted Dellinger.

“Dellinger gave an account of events that did not align with Doe’s experience,” according to the lawsuit. “Doe’s mother was outraged that the school had instructed Doe to not inform them of the meeting.”

For the rest of her senior year, Doe was allegedly ostracized and harassed by students who had taken Brandow’s side. This included harassment on social media, inappropriate text messages and nonstop phone calls from blocked numbers.

On one occasion, a male student (with others clearly in the background) asked Doe if they could “tap that like Brandow did,” according to the lawsuit.

“Brandow’s grooming, manipulation, intimidation, and unwanted physical touching of Doe was extreme and outrageous conduct that was beyond all bounds of decency tolerated by society,” according to the lawsuit. “This conduct was done with the intention to cause, or with reckless disregard of the probability of causing, Doe to suffer emotional distress.”

For more than a decade, multiple members of the community accused SLO High School head basketball coach and history teacher Brandow of sexual misconduct, according to the suit.

In 2014, a trainer contracted to work with the basketball team told school administrators that Brandow was acting inappropriately. She said he made comments about students, coaches and parents’ bodies; drank beer at a school sports event; and insinuated he had had sex with students while he worked in the San Diego area.

However, school officials squelched her complaint and the harassment allegedly continued.

A handful of years later, Brandow, who was also the athletic director at the time, allegedly began harassing a coach he supervised. After noting that she was attractive, Brandow said that “high school boys probably hit on you,” the coach said. The married mother of students at the school said Brandow repeatedly tried to get her to meet him in bars.

In 2018, a then-KSBY sports director filed for a restraining order against Brandow, who she said had become obsessed with her. Over a period of two months, the KSBY reporter said Brandow contacted her 50 to 100 times a day, left violent voice messages calling her names, showed up at her home, sent emails to her work and personal accounts and constantly harassed her, according to court records.

In 2018, Matt Cross, the owner of Broad Street Public House, permanently barred Brandow from the establishment because of the coach’s sexual harassment of staff and customers, Cross said.

According to the suit, school administrators had a responsibility and a duty to adequately and properly investigate, hire, train and supervise its employees and to protect its residents.

“San Luis Coastal Unified School District knew or should have known that Brandow was unfit to be an employee before it hired him,” according to the suit. “Had SLCUSD conducted an appropriate and reasonable investigation into Brandow’s background, it would have learned that Brandow was unfit to be an employee and would not have hired him.”

As a result of Brandow and the school district’s actions, Doe suffered physical injuries, mental pain and suffering and emotional distress, according to the lawsuit. The suit is seeking unspecified damages, attorney fees and court costs.

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Dont worry, thanks to the teachers union Jeff Brandow will retire with a full pension but not before moving to a different school district if he wants, thanks to all of this being hidden. Any financial penalties will be paid by the people living in the district, no administrators will have any consequences. Our DA is again asleep, there should be criminal charges against Jeff, but Dan Dow and company protects the elite class.

Atascadero in the early/mid 1990’s all over again.

This should have been reported, investigated then prosecuted publicly for all to see.

Although this looks pretty bad for the coach, I’ve learned ( like we all should ) to wait to hear both sides. The plaintiff attorney is creating a uncontested public narrative. Maybe it’s all true? But I am waiting to hear the defense.

If this were one allegation, I would be a bit more open-minded. All we will hear from this guy and his lawyer are: denial, deflection, discrediting the victim, and assuming the role of victim.

You most likely will never hear the defense Perry Mason, chances are it well be settled out of court with a nondisclosure agreement. Thus, my comment above.

I am so horrified and outraged at not only the perp’s behavior, but also the behavior of fellow students and school officials. How on earth did this monster get away with this for so long?

I agree 100%!! I cannot imagine one of my kids going through this, along with the students and staff being equally awful! Dellinger should certainly be fired!

has this Dellinger been fired?

Coverups by school administrators should be costly.

Agree. The problem is that the costs are borne by the school districts operating funds; and even if fired records are sealed so new employers have no knowledge.

I hope this student wins and wins big!! How this stuff is still happening in a public school, in 2023, is unbelievable!

Agreed, and every penny should come from the pensions of Brandow and Dellinger. I’m tired of “public servants” misbehaving and then leaving taxpayers with a huge bill while they themselves have minimal consequences.

Bet the Pigs who work for Slo county Court and legal system won’t to Jack to hold this Pedophile accountable. This county has such a disgusting excuse of a court system and Attourneys too. Theoat Vile Humans in Slo have to be this man, Judges and Attourneys, sub human if anything.

*Attorneys Sounds like somebody had a bad experience with the court system.