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FCPS fires middle school counselor convicted of soliciting minor

Fairfax County Public Schools (file photo)

A counselor at Glasgow Middle School in Lincolnia has been fired after Fairfax County Public Schools officials learned he was convicted of soliciting prostitution from a minor, Superintendent Michelle Reid said in a letter to families.

While not named in the letter, which went out on Aug. 18, FCPS identified the counselor in a statement to media as Darren Thornton, as previously reported by FOX5, NBC4, and WTOP.

“Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) has been informed that while Darren Thornton was working at one of our schools he was convicted of solicitation of prostitution from a minor outside of Fairfax County,” the school system wrote. “He was already an FCPS employee at the time of his arrest and subsequent conviction. He has been relieved of all duties, dismissed, and will not be returning.”

A spokesperson told FFXnow that the statement had been shared “with media” who requested one on July 28. FCPS didn’t immediately respond to follow up questions about when exactly Thorton was fired.

It’s also unclear how long he was employed by FCPS, but he was mentioned by Glasgow’s student newspaper in a February 2021 post expressing appreciation for the school’s counselors.

FCPS didn’t confirm where the crime and conviction occurred beyond that it was not in Fairfax County.

There’s no indication at this time that any Fairfax County children or students were involved, according to Reid.

In her letter, Reid says she and the Fairfax County School Board took action to dismiss Thornton as soon as they learned about the situation. FCPS is now petitioning the state to revoke his license, and Reid has commissioned an outside legal counsel to conduct an independent investigation.

The school board has directed Reid to deliver an “accountability report with a timely corrective action plan so that this never again occurs within FCPS,” she said.

“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,” Reid said. “We are deeply concerned about how this happened in one of our schools.”

Reid said anyone with concerns or information can contact the FCPS Office of Safety and Security’s safety tip line or the Fairfax County Police Department at 703-691-2131.

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