Upon the employment of Dazhon Darien as the sports director at Pikesville High School in Baltimore County, Maryland last year, the institution believed they had secured an exceptional individual. With credentials from esteemed universities and over ten years of experience as a higher education administrator, Darien seemed like a valuable addition. His apparent familiarity with Artificial Intelligence also added to his appeal. However, there lay a significant issue with this seemingly perfect hiring decision. None of Darien’s claims held any truth. His resume was entwined with fabrications and embellishments. Just a few months down the line, he was dismissed from his position and now confronts criminal charges related to theft, harassment, and disruptive conducts. Investigations revealed that he utilized AI technology to concoct a false recording of the school principal at Pikesville uttering racist slurs, which he then broadcasted online, triggering significant unrest within the school. (CBS News)

The discovery that Dazhon Darien, the former sports director of Pikesville High School, managed to infiltrate educational institutions under false pretenses, left Izzy Patoka, the chairperson of the Baltimore County Council, deeply perturbed.

So troubled was the chairman, that he insisted on government intervention.

Patoka remarked, “While it is the responsibility of Baltimore County Public Schools to educate the children of our community, these children reside in our districts.” He stressed the necessity for meticulous screening of all personnel in proximity to students to prevent a recurrence of such incidents.

An investigation by the Baltimore Banner uncovered that Darien, accused by law enforcement of using AI to impersonate a school administrator, had made at least 29 false statements across four employment applications under two different aliases.

The institution now questions whether there might be other individuals who have managed to deceive the system with falsified resumes. It appears evident that someone should have uncovered the truth about Darien’s professional background during the recruitment process. An extensive probe by the Baltimore Banner disclosed Darien’s history of moving between different regions in the country over several years, securing positions at various minor colleges and high schools, where his tenure was consistently marked by controversies.

In 2021, he assumed an educational role in Texas, submitting a resume claiming eight years of experience in higher education as a student affairs administrator, though in reality, he had only held two vaguely related positions, each lasting only a short period. Darien also asserted to have a college-going child at the age of 29. Further back, in 2018, he briefly served at Colorado Mesa University before the arrangement fell through.

He held transient roles as a student counselor at a couple of other colleges, falsely stating that he attended Southern University A&M College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and was pursuing a doctoral degree. School records, however, reflect his brief presence for parts of three semesters without graduation. He also claimed possession of a master’s degree, yet no documentation supports this assertion.

The deceitful pattern continues. Did Darien watch the film Catch Me If You Can excessively and conceive it as an attractive stratagem? The disparity lies in the fact that Leonardo DiCaprio’s character in the movie had the adeptness to navigate through various employments deceivingly, a contrast not manifested by Darien in reality. The laxity in the vetting process within public academic institutions in and around Baltimore prompts inquiry. Shouldn’t the human resources department execute thorough background verifications routinely during hiring? At a minimum, a simple Google search could help. If Dazhon Darien proceeds to apply at another institution, his notoriety will precede him across online platforms, painting a negative image. That is, unless he opts for another alias.