Virginia school district employed convicted sex offender for months before firing

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A Virginia school district informed parents on Wednesday that a counselor at one of its middle schools was fired after administrators learned that he had previously been convicted of “solicitation of prostitution from a minor.”

Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Michelle Reid sent a letter to families stating that the counselor continued his employment at Glasgow Middle School in Lincolnia, Virginia, despite being convicted of a sex crime against a minor.

“I am writing to make you aware of the action that I am taking as a result of being notified of a serious situation at Glasgow Middle School regarding a counselor who continued to be employed despite being convicted – outside of Fairfax County – of ‘solicitation of prostitution from a minor’. I want to assure you that as soon as the School Board and I knew of the situation, we took immediate steps to dismiss the employee. I can confirm that the employee has been terminated and FCPS is petitioning the state to revoke his license,” Reid wrote.

A spokesperson for the school district confirmed to Fox News that Darren Thornton, a counselor at Glasgow Middle School, was fired, and the district is petitioning the state to take away his teaching license.

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A spokesperson for the school district confirmed to Fox News that Darren Thornton, a counselor at Glasgow Middle School, was fired and the district is petitioning the state to take away his teaching license.

A spokesperson for the school district confirmed to Fox News that Darren Thornton, a counselor at Glasgow Middle School, was fired and the district is petitioning the state to take away his teaching license. (Glasgow Middle School)

The Glasgow Middle School website no longer lists Thornton as a counselor, but a Jan. 20, 2021 version of the website lists him as an employee of the school.

Thornton is listed on Virginia’s sex offender registry, which states that he was convicted of solicitation of prostitution from a minor on March 11. He was initially arrested on Nov. 19, 2020. 

Court records show that he pleaded not guilty to the crime on Aug. 30, 2021, but was convicted on March 11. 

Records also show that Fairfax County Public Schools requested information regarding the case on June 15.

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A spokesperson for the school district confirmed to Fox News that Darren Thornton, a counselor at Glasgow Middle School, was fired and the district is petitioning the state to take away his teaching license.

A spokesperson for the school district confirmed to Fox News that Darren Thornton, a counselor at Glasgow Middle School, was fired and the district is petitioning the state to take away his teaching license. (Virginia State Police)

Thornton was arrested a separate time on June 9 and charged with solicitation of prostitution.

The school district said that a “comprehensive, independent investigation” is underway by an outside organization to look into the “circumstances surrounding this situation.”

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“While I am not able to speak to the specifics of the investigation at this time, I can confirm that it covers both internal and external processes. Following my receipt of the investigative report, I will share my corrective action steps with the School Board and wider community to ensure full accountability. Please be assured that I will take whatever further corrective actions are required to prevent this from happening again,” Reid wrote.