It’s time San Luis Obispo High School puts student safety over sports

June 7, 2024

Jeff Brandow


Why can’t San Luis Obispo High School and the district get it right and prioritize student safety over competitive athletics?  Or even do both at the same time?  It seems like every chance they get to demonstrate that they have learned from past mistakes and do right by the safety of students – they go in the other direction sending a metaphorical middle finger to district taxpayers and voters.

Faced with an opportunity to show that they have learned, something they purport to teach every day to their students, they get earn a failing grade.

Let’s take the hiring of new soccer coaches for both girl’s and boy’s soccer at SLO High School. The same two administrators – Rollin Dickinson and Desiree Dellinger – who ignored reports of sexually predatory behavior and then attempted to promote now fired child sexual abuser Jeff Brandow – are still hiring coaches.

That, in its own right, makes no sense and demonstrates no interest in student safety. But, then you look at the hire they made for the girl’s team – former SLO High School Principal Leslie O’Connor –the initial principal who tried to cover up Jeff Brandow’s abuse.

O’Connor, Dickinson, and Dellinger all failed to respond to and report Brandow’s abuse to Child Protective Services and instead tried to promote him. Instead, they let him continue to coach, and continue to abuse underage students. These three are complicit and accessories to child abuse.

Hiring O’Connor to coach the same aged female students he failed to protect when principal creates a significant safety concern. It’s not if something will happen under this new coaching structure, it’s when, and what will happen when it does? Probably the same attempts to cover up the bad behavior, just as Dickinson and Dellinger have in the past.

It makes sense that O’Connor was hired if you really think about it. These administrators are all complicit and involved in a conspiracy to keep the truth from the taxpaying public. The only way to keep the information secret is to continue to promote and hire each other.

In the end, it’s all about judgement.

Judgement is something we count on our school leaders to have,  but is something all three have demonstrated they do not have.

Here’s a new example: Dellinger also has a son who plays high school soccer at SLO High School. For nothing else than to remove the appearance of additional backroom deals to advance her son’s playing interests over other students, Dellinger should have recused herself from the selection of the new boy’s coach.

But why should we expect her to have good judgement in this situation, if she didn’t have the integrity and leadership skills to step in and protect students despite months of multiple reports about Jeff Brandow, and if she couldn’t with the hiring of O’Connor? Why should we expect any leadership out of Rollin Dickinson if he just sits idly by watching this happen?  It’s time for all three to step aside from their administrative positions, or for the San Luis Coastal Unified School District Board to do so.

Equally concerning is that local media outlets are not covering the entirety of this story, leaving the public uninformed. Only those of us who are close to the situation really know what is going on at SLO High School, but when shared with others, they are equally appalled at the lack of moral leadership.

Please help shine a spotlight on abusive and predatory behavior in our schools, before it happens again.

Amber Wilkerson is an educator. She is also the mother of one of the students who is an alleged victim of Jeff Brandow.


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If by “local media outlets” you are referring to The Tribune, duh.

This op ed went from citing grievances against admin about a staff member’s alleged inappropriate behavior to a personal attack on the SLOHS administration. A big question we all want to know- why didn’t Ms. Wilkerson immediately call the SLOPD if she knew her child was possibly being victimized? Why wait for school officials to handle the situation? So, in short- mom fails to report in a timely manner, waits too long and later blames school staff.

People who get caught in sexually deviant behavior often use a defense known as the “slut or nuts” defense. Calling out this parent is deployment of the nuts defense. Maybe she trusted Prater because he is the highest paid educator in the county? Shouldn’t he be the most skilled at the job? Why has he fumbled this situation? He’s a confidence man protecting his cronies. The only person responsible for this mess is Eric Prater.


A mandated reporter who fails to make a required report, or any administrator or supervisor who impedes or inhibits a report, is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail, a fine of $1,000, or both. So my question is, where is the DA in all of this? The state? It wasn’t that long ago that some admins at St Joseph High in Santa Maria got fired because they failed to report. We can keep pointing the fingers at the leadership but where is law enforcement in all of this? It just seems fishy that nothing ever seems to get done unless it is under the table and magically goes away with a payout. This county is famous for it’s school districts paying large sums of money to keep quiet. For awhile it seemed like every week the local school districts would trade off on paying out large sums of money. Just look at Lucia Mar, Paso, Morro Bay, Atascadero. It just keeps going and going and nothing ever happens. Just sayin.

Eric Prater is a con with a diploma mill doctorate. He was recruited by Leadership Associates, a good Ole boy network of former lack luster superintendents on their second turn at the tax trough. He uses their services to hire every top administrator in the district even though there is a director of human resources. In fact he just paid them to find another assistant superintendent of human resources lol! Can’t make this stuff up. The district is staffed with con ladder climbing administrators just like Prater. Prater is great at spending money for tech but cannot deliver on the test scores. He lacks the knowledge to do the job. Fire this clown and hire someone who can get these schools where they should be.

I AGREE with Amber Wilkerson!

The truth is, the SLO Coastal leadership has no moral compass, and parents need to understand that this school district will not protect students from their abusers. Ultimately, SLO Coastal Superintendent Eric Prater is the most guilty perpetrator, as he has allowed a climate of abuse to become prevalent, and has shielded abusers from punishment. Heck, Mr. Prater actually brags about this climate of abuse, it has been allowed t go on for too long now.

Nothing will change until parents stand together and demand Eric Prater resign, and the SLO Coastal school board members (like Marilyn Rodger) quit promoting administrative leaders who allow children to be abused. As taxpayers, we pay millions in property taxes and also school bonds, and our voice ought to be heard.

Reject SLO Coastal, until they prioritize abused students over abusive adults.

They all need to go, along with Superintendent Prater, who convinced the Board of Trustees in 2016 to give him a $1,000,000 home loan, at 2% interest, no money down, so he could find a “suitable” home, not even necessarily within the District. This is a guy who makes $5000 a week -$5000 A WEEK! – and these other administrators and coaches are also vastly overpaid. Anyone outside of government doing these things would have been fired a long time ago.

It’s tough to find and keep quality superintendents and school admin. Judging from your comment you are pretty clueless about salaries, the cost of living, and what school admin work entails.

Yeah it’s almost like a job, except it’s easier and the compensation is much more than it should be.

What can be done to put a stop to this and risking the safety and well being of students? Someone needs to take the lead and be the squeaky wheel.

A new DA, at least one that doesn’t time and again protect the special ones. It’s seems clear the Superintendent has no desire to protect the children, just their friends.

Sounds like they need to be transferred over to the Atascadero High School Athletic Department. They would be right a home there. There is a very long, multi-decade track record of having an abuser in charge of the athletic department at that school. Just ask anyone who knows what went on in the early/mid 90’s.

How about you spell it out for us. You’ve alluded to it plenty of times. Let’s hear it.