A counselor in Virginia’s largest school system has been fired after it was discovered that he was convicted of soliciting prostitution from a minor outside of Fairfax County.
In a letter to the school community, Superintendent Michelle Reid said that Fairfax County Public Schools is also asking the state to revoke the counselor’s license.
The school system told WTOP that Darren Thornton was the school counselor employed at Glasgow Middle School in Lincolnia.
Reid said that once she and the school board became aware of the “serious situation” at the school, “we took immediate steps to dismiss the employee.”
Thornton began his tenure at Glasgow back in 2020.
FCPS said it has no information that any Fairfax County students or children have been involved.
The school board asked Reid to provide an “accountability report” that includes a plan to ensure that this will not happen again in the school system.
Reid said she has initiated an independent investigation by a third party that has access to all internal and external processes of the schools.
“There is no higher priority than the safety of our students and, on behalf of the School Board and myself, I want to make this very clear: this entire situation is unacceptable from any perspective. We are deeply concerned about how this happened in one of our schools,” Reid said in the letter.
Reid said she will share the corrective steps she will take with the school board and the community to ensure accountability.
A FCPS spokesperson told WTOP, “While the independent investigation into this matter is underway, we are unable to comment further.”
Parents or students with concerns or information should call Fairfax County schools’ Office of Safety and Security, which has a safety tip line that can be accessed anonymously. They can also reach out to the Fairfax County police at 703-691-2131, if they have concerns or information.
WTOP’s Matt Small contributed to this report.