Its time to hold SLO High School officials accountable

December 2, 2023

Jeff Brandow


I was the San Luis Obispo High School girls head soccer coach from 2012 through 2016, and worked for Jeff Brandow. I had been working as the assistant soccer coach from 2009/10’ season and was hired as the head coach starting in 2012, right at the same time that Jeff was hired.

Jeff and I had, what I thought, was a professional-platonic relationship. We would grab drinks at The Wine Shed (turned Broad Street Pub) because my roommates both worked there and it was down the street from his house. At some point, things took a turn. Because these events all happened so long ago, they may not all be in chronological order. But, I’ll bullet point out all of the many instances Jeff acted inappropriately or unprofessionally.

One night at The Wine Shed, he asked me if I would ever go out on a date with him. When I laughed and said “absolutely not,” he was flabbergasted and offended. He proceeded to ask me why over and over again even after I listed out the many reasons I wouldn’t:

  • He was a boss
  • He was married
  • I wasn’t attracted to him, etc.

I brushed this off as just a desperate man seeking attention, but after this I started to separate myself from interacting with him outside of work. It wasn’t a serious attempt at asking me out on a date.

Shortly after this, Principal Leslie O’Connor called me into his office to ask if he had been harassing me or if I had knowledge of him acting inappropriately towards any other female staffers. I told him no, and that was the truth. I felt Jeff had a flirty personality, but he did his job well and I didn’t feel harassed or uncomfortable.

After my meeting I received a phone call from the female athletic trainer at the time saying that she was being harassed. This is the same athletic trainer who quit after she reported him to both her boss and O’Connor and nothing was really done about it.

At some point, Brandow started to text me in the middle of the night, asking me to meet him at the park so we could talk/hang out. I always refused. At this time, I stopped trying to be friends with him.

The final straw happened many months later, and by this time I was not friendly with Jeff, I had made it clear to him that we were co-workers and nothing more.

I  went to The Wine Shed to meet my roommate, my cousin, and some friends, and Jeff was there with his wife and another couple. Jeff was drunk. He saw me walk in and came over to my table to try and give me a hug. He tried to wrap his arms around my whole body and I had to stiff arm him for a “side hug” instead.

After five minutes of uncomfortable small talk he left. Shortly later, I started receiving texts from him saying, “You look beautiful, Kaleena,” and “I think I love you,” and “Please talk to me.”

I didn’t respond and just continued on with my night. The next morning, I called him and told him that if he ever did that again, I would go to his wife. I wanted nothing to do with him, and if he did anything remotely out of line, I would go to the school and his wife with all of the texts he ever sent me.

Jeff never bothered me again.

I deeply regret not going back to Leslie O’Connor, but I wasn’t comfortable with him. I had known him through Cal Poly Soccer, and from my first day Leslie was nothing but disrespectful and misogynistic towards me. I didn’t go to Leslie because I didn’t feel that anything could happen. I didn’t trust Leslie, and I didn’t want to risk getting fired. I loved my job.

If needed, I can expand further on the unprofessional actions of Principal O’Connor and how he hid and enabled other predators within SLO High: Charlie Deeds.

It got to the point where I explicitly instructed my team and any girl within the soccer program that they were never to be in a room alone with Director Brandow. It’s disgusting to have to tell teenage girls that they can’t be alone with an administrator because you fear for their wellbeing.

I was young, and I wish deeply I had had the bandwidth to recognize and report what he was: a predator. He was an unapologetic predator, and only got bolder when no one stood up for the women he harassed along the way. It’s frustrating that I even have to write this now, to provide further proof of how he has been harassing women for as long as he has been at SLO High.

Jeff Brandow, and those who knew about his actions and continued to protect him, deserve to be held accountable.


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I applaud this author for coming forward with their story. Many issues in SLCUSD appear to stem from Leslie O’Connor, a bully with countless complaints against him from the community, who was promoted up to a higher paying position of power rather than be dismissed. In his farewell address to SLHS in 2021, it should be noted that he specifically thanked Jeff Brandow for working to make SLHS better.


Women staff members have complained for years about O’Connor’s misogynistic and dismissive attitude towards them. All complaints falling on deaf ears. Brandow and other men at SLHS got away with their behavior because of a boss who consistently showed, and continues to show, a dismissive and authoritarian attitude toward women.


Female staff at Laguna Middle School often speak about O’Connor’s protégé, Principal Nathan Meinert, as making them feel intimidated and uncomfortable. Staff are afraid to officially report Meinert because Leslie O’Connor will not entertain conversations about Meinert’s behavior. One might also wonder what Meinert might have known about Jeff Brandow while at SLHS as an administrator working for O’Connor.


O’Connor has also allegedly abused his power to ensure that his own children got admitted to clubs and teams at both the high school and middle school levels. Coaches and advisors have reported being spoken to by O’Connor and feeling pressured into ensuring his children make the rosters.


Furthermore, O’Connor demanded the lowering of the bar for admittance into honors level classes at the middle school level. He claimed the change to be in the name of giving more students opportunities, but the change coincided with one of his children not having high enough test scores to qualify for the course(s).


High School summer school offerings in the district were changed in order for his children to take simplified versions of more academic courses. Notable as well is the addition of a summer PE class in which his child gained enrollment in order to free up their schedule during the school year to focus more on their desires to be a soccer professional.


Most recently, and perhaps not noticed by the Board of Education, is the addition of his own two children, both students at SLHS, as employees of the district for being “Student Aides” with the Adult Education program. This was accepted by the Board and signed off on by Eric Prater on November 7, 2023 under agenda item 11.1. Are these paid positions? Volunteer? What are these positions? Were they offered to all students? Under what coincidence have both of his children been granted these positions? The public deserves an inquiry into this one.


A previous author mentioned that district employees feel intimidated by the current administration and they are correct. Fear of retribution, reassignment, and increased workload are all real. The Board of Education should be paying attention.

This entire scenario is such a betrayal to every student and parent. I listened to the Dave C show last night, as one of the girls told her side of the story. Even worse than the predator trying to have $#x with an underage girl, was how she was dragged in for questioning without any notification to her parents! And even though she showed actual inappropriate text messages (facts), she was made to feel as though she had no proof, and that she would do HIM harm. They are all mandated reporters! And they failed her! They failed every student who had to deal with this predator. Boys and girls alike! Because even if he didn’t text the boys in the middle of the night, every boy knows how he was getting away with it! Is that what you wanted your son’s to learn? ITs ok to cheat on your wife and harass women? Everyone involved needs to be held accountable IMO.

Thank you for your bravery— anybody who knows the bully tactics of O’Connor and crew, knows the fear you had in coming forward at the time. Your story now adds to the growing knowledge of the corruption of the district administration, starting with Eric Prater as the “leader.” It is beyond time for this house to be cleaned. Further investigation will show that incompetent, even harmful, principals are allowed to stay in their positions (after MANY complaints and evidence provided by teachers and parents). The school board member who is a friend of Brandow’s mother-in-law, also needs to be held accountable for her condoning silence. Fleshing out the case of Brandow will lead to many more discoveries.

Don’t stop investigating, reporting, and disclosing until the administrative and school board enablers are removed, and the victims have been compensated.

Repeatedly meeting a married co worker for drinks is a slippery slope . Teach your own children well moving forward, using any real world examples necessary to keep them out of striking range from scumbags like this guy.

Pretty sure that is fairly common… It certainly isn’t an invitation for inappropriate behaviour if that is what you are suggesting.