Darren Lamar Thornton: Virginia school district kept sex offender counselor for a year AFTER being notified of his arrest

In November 2020, Thornton was arrested for offering minors money for sex in Chesterfield County

Darren Lamar Thornton: Virginia school district kept sex offender counselor for a year AFTER being notified of his arrest
Darren Thornton remained employed at Glasgow Middle School in Lincolnia, Virginia, even after being convicted of a sex crime (Heather7News/Twitter)
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FAIRFAX, VIRGINIA: The Fairfax County school (FCPS) district, notorious for its woke policies and clashes with parents over teaching critical theory, reportedly waited a year to fire a counselor after finding out he'd been arrested for soliciting an underage prostitute.

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Darren Lamar Thornton, 50, continued to work at the Glasgow Middle School in Lincolnia, Virginia, even after being convicted of a sex crime and a year after school officials were first notified of his arrest. Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Michelle C Reid later confirmed Thornton had been terminated and that the school district was petitioning the state to revoke his license. Records show he had previously worked as a counselor and boys' varsity basketball coach in a different county from 2006 to 2020.

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In November 2020, Thornton was arrested for offering minors money for sex in Chesterfield County. He was trapped in a sting operation led by an undercover officer who posed online as a 17-year-old Thornton agreed to meet. He was arrested when he showed up at her apartment, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Thornton was eventually convicted and sentenced in March 2022 to five years in prison. However, his sentence was suspended for good behavior.

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Authorities said the school district was notified of his November 2020 arrest and again in June 2022, when he was apprehended in another sting operation for solicitation of prostitution and had to register as a sex offender. In a letter to parents on Thursday, August 18, Superintendent Reid said they took "immediate steps" to fire Thornton. However, records suggest he was still employed for over a year after his initial arrest. A police spokesperson said their records indicated that they had informed Fairfax County Public Schools of Thornton's 2020 arrest the next day and again when he was arrested in June 2022. Reid vowed to take "whatever further corrective actions are required to prevent this from happening again."

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Sue Zoldak, a member of the advocacy group 'Do Better FCPS', told WUSA9 she was astounded and disappointed. "It is astounding and once again disappointing that FCPS had demonstrated that the front office, as well as school-level leadership, do not have a solid procedure for vetting staff and faculty." Zoldak also alleged that Reid had spent the past couple of days "scrubbing" all mentions of Thornton from the school's website and social pages. The group is now demanding that the school board release all internal communications regarding the issue.

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It's worth noting that Fairfax County Public Schools dominated headlines for its part in the flashpoint of the nation's culture wars over education. The school board sparked an uproar in June when it was debating making "deadnaming" a suspendable offense for students. Deadnaming is the act of referring to a trans person by their birth name or one they used before they transitioned. The woke school district is also notorious for scrapping exam grades for admission to its prestigious Thomas Jefferson High School, and instead using alternative means of determining admission for the sake of "equity." It is currently being sued by a group of parents over the move. In  September 2021, a school board member raised eyebrows when he claimed a moment of silence on the anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks would be offensive to minorities who faced persecution as a result of the attack. 

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