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Fairfax Schools Mistakenly Hires Seven Felons, Doesn't Notice for Years

Mistake discovered when one teacher asked if her drug smuggling past was what was holding up her promotion.

Fairfax County school officials admitted this week to mistakenly hiring seven felons.
Fairfax County school officials admitted this week to mistakenly hiring seven felons.
According to a report by The Washington Post Monday evening, Fairfax County Public Schools officials admitted they mistakenly hired seven felons between 1996 and 2009—and didn't notice until 2012, after they had all worked for the district for many years.

The mistake was reportedly discovered when a teacher at Madison High School in Vienna asked if her previous conviction for smuggling heroin was what was stalling her pending promotion.

According to the Post, all seven of the felons were honest on their job applications and disclosed the felony convictions—but, despite the fact that all potential hires go through a background search that includes checking FBI, police and child-abuse databases, the school district failed to notice.

Hiring felons to jobs in schools is against the law in Virginia.

"The hirings all occurred before 2009, when Fairfax schools switched to an online application. The new system automatically disqualifies potential employees who disclose felonies on their application," the Post reported.

New FCPS Superintendent Karen Garza told the Post, "Human error played a part in these hirings and we deeply regret this mistake."

The school district said none of the seven employees in question are still working in their positions. According to the Post, three of them left the school district voluntarily, and the other four were placed on administrative leave recently.

FCPS has a pending court case in Fairfax County asking for permission to fire Deilia Butler, the Madison High teacher who previously served 42 months in jail for smuggling heroin in the 1990s. School officials told the Post they are confident they will be allowed to fire the other three employees after the court case is resolved as well.

The crimes of other other six employees were not disclosed in the report, but Garza told the Post that none of them involved crimes against children.

Read the full story on the Washington Post here.

TELL US - What are your thoughts about this news from Fairfax County Public Schools? Tell us in the comments.


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Leslie Ackerman January 29, 2014 at 06:17 AM
As a well rewarded teacher who does not work in public schools (but once applied with no response), I have to grin. With all the sofistication, formality, deshumanization and technical sophistication of their methods, they still don't get it right.
JimTh January 29, 2014 at 07:19 AM
Did you know Martha Stewart is a convicted felon. Bill Clinton committed numerous felonies, some of a violent sexual nature. Who do you want teaching your teenage daughter...Martha Stewart or bill Clinton. I am sure if you are a good little liberal bill Clinton will be the cats meow! A convicted felon is not the danger if they have turned their lives around. The danger is the guy that can manipulate you without blinking his eye. If you don't know when you are being manipulated you've no business having children. IMHO of course.
JimTh January 29, 2014 at 07:21 AM
Just as a follow up, Bill Clinton was never convicted of raping Juanita Broderick or sexually assaulting Kathleen Wiley or Paula jones so therefore he is perfectly safe.
Leslie Ackerman January 29, 2014 at 07:47 AM
How about none? (OJ Simpson was never convicted either.)
edgy one January 29, 2014 at 02:19 PM
All the comments made in support of the teacher being fired were deleted. Way to foster two sided conversation, Patch.

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