Local News

Parents Suspicious About School Volunteer Long Before Arrest

Posted February 14, 2006

— Two parents at a Johnston County high school say they first made allegations a year ago concerning a former school volunteer charged with sexually abusing a student, but that the school failed to take action when the accusations were first made.

Brian Lowry, who volunteered as an assistant with the West Johnston High School marching band, was arrested more than a week ago for allegedly having sex with the student after getting a tip from a police agency outside the area.

The alleged encounters happened at Lowry's Raleigh home in November and December of 2004.

But the parents want to know why it took outside law enforcement agencies so long to charge him.

"I think the bump under the carpet is so big it will trip the county," one parent said. "I think it's horrendous how this was brushed under the carpet."

Both parents said they alerted the school's principal and showed her entries on Lowry's blog from the victim that hinted at a relationship. WRAL found recent entries in which the victim writes that she loves and misses Lowry.

The parents are remaining anonymous because they fear retaliation against their children at school. Both, however, say Lowry invited their daughters to spend time with him.

"What does this older guy want with 15- and 16-year-old girls," said one parent. "Does he not have a friend circle of his own? I thought it was weird."

The Johnston County School System insists the sheriff's office helped investigate the allegations.

The sheriff's office, however, said it has no record of the allegations. The school's school resource officer at the time also said he was never notified of the allegations.

A school spokesman says Lowry's contract was not renewed and he was banned from Johnston County School property in April after he continued to interact with students on the Internet.

But parents say that in hindsight, they don't feel that was enough.

They do admit, however, the students that the school did question last year had stories that did not match, adding to the confusion.

Lowry is in the Wake County Jail on $1.2 million bond.

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