FAIRFAX, Va. (WJLA) - Deilia Butler was a well-liked special education teacher at Madison High in Vienna. The school district once even highlighted her for an article she wrote on medical misdiagnoses.
But parents like Debbie Taylor have recently discovered that Butler was also convicted in 1992 of felony drug trafficking (heroin) – something the Fairfax School district did not realize until the fall of 2012.
"I was shocked they didn't catch it in the first place. Teachers are people who work with our children and they should be screened well," said Taylor.
The district made the revelation after Butler inquired whether her conviction would hurt her changes for a promotion, which prompted a review of 19,000 employee records hired before 2009, when employee applications transitioned into online.
Fairfax soon discovered that Butler is one of seven employees who admitted to being convicted felons on their written applications.
"A mistake was made -- it was human error," says administrator John Torre with FCPS, who adds that online applications immediately disqualify convicted felons.
"We regret what happened and believe we have the systems in place to prevent it from happening again," he said.
We went to Butler’s home in Vienna for comment, but no one answered the door. Parents say they are pleased the district is talking and taking action.