Tenured theater professor placed on administrative leave following allegations

Theater+professor%2C+Reed+Brown%2C+was+placed+on+administrative+leave+March+11%2C+following+allegations+made+by+a+student.+There+is+currently+an+external%2C+ongoing+investigation+through+Cerritos+College.
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Tenured theater professor placed on administrative leave following allegations

Theater professor, Reed Brown, was placed on administrative leave March 11, following allegations made by a student. There is currently an external, ongoing investigation through Cerritos College.

Theater professor, Reed Brown, was placed on administrative leave March 11, following allegations made by a student. There is currently an external, ongoing investigation through Cerritos College.

TM Jasmine Martinez

Theater professor, Reed Brown, was placed on administrative leave March 11, following allegations made by a student. There is currently an external, ongoing investigation through Cerritos College.

TM Jasmine Martinez

TM Jasmine Martinez

Theater professor, Reed Brown, was placed on administrative leave March 11, following allegations made by a student. There is currently an external, ongoing investigation through Cerritos College.

Jasmine Martinez, Editor-in-Chief

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According to Cerritos College officials, theater professor, Reed Brown was placed on administrative leave on March 11, following allegations made by a theater student after the “Skyline” performance on March 10.

The student was contacted, but was unavailable for comment.

Jose Fierro, president of Cerritos College, said he was notified minutes after the event happened and took immediate action and authorized the administrative leave the following day due to the seriousness of the allegations.

“We’re not necessarily saying that professor Brown is guilty, we’re just simply taking the allegations seriously,” Fierro said.

He said an external investigation was then launched through Cerritos College from an outside law firm.

“[The administrative leave is] just part of allowing the investigation to happen without creating additional situations that could… jeopardize the outcome of the investigation one way or another,” Fierro continued.

He also stated he does not want to put students and Brown in an uncomfortable and awkward position.

Brown is a tenured professor as well as an actor, director and choreographer who has over 100 productions credited to him.

Brown was contacted via email and did not respond.

After the allegations were made public, former theater students have also come forward with other allegations based on past and personal experiences with Brown.

Ericka Bailey, Cerritos College alumni and former theater major, said she was apart of Reed’s first show as a stage manager.

She said during that time, he seemed very energetic and easy to get along with.

In one incident she recalls Reed “seething” during a rehearsal due to a student lighting designer walking around during this time. She said she attempted to tell him calmly that the student was making sure he was doing his job.

“Apparently that just triggered him and enraged him and he stood up, like pushed his chair back, stood up and… screamed at me ‘outside!,’” Bailey said, “I was like, ‘I don’t think that’s a good idea.’ And he [pulled] the back of my chair, trying to like pull it out from under me.”

Arielle Martinez, former theater major, said she recalls the incident.

Bailey is now living in New York and was contacted via telephone.

Diana Ing, Cerritos College alumni and former theater student, said she was unaware and shocked at the allegations and was never harassed by Brown in any shape or form.

In a text interview, Ing said that Reed was a great professor and director and never made any advances towards her.

She said she worked with him in many of his classes and shows that he directed at Cerritos College and even babysat his children and nothing inappropriate ever happened.

Bailey and other theater students, including Martinez, met with Dean of Fine Arts, Gary Pritchard, in May 2017 to discuss some concerns regarding Brown’s temperament towards some students.

“I didn’t want him to get fired, like, I get he has two young kids at home,” Bailey said, “We went in with the intention of like telling him everything that’s happened… and everything that [was] going on.”

She said when the meeting was over, her and other students were unhappy with Pritchard’s response.

Pritchard was contacted for an interview that was rescheduled before the article was published.

Fierro said the administration does not have any access to the investigation report until it is completed, which, in his opinion, increases the level of confidence on the outcome of the report.

Once the investigation concludes, a report is sent out to both parties stating some of the findings, he said, once the reports are produced, they are not necessarily allowed to disclose that information.

Fierro said if there is any disciplinary issues or action as a result of such an investigation, Title V outlines how to follow up when working with tenured faculty.

Vice President of Human Resources, Adriana Flores-Church, and Director of Diversity, Compliance and Title IX coordinator, Valyncia Raphael, were contacted and there is an interview pending.

 

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