PISCATAWAY, NJ – A Piscataway man’s teaching certifications were revoked after the New Jersey State Board of Examiners determined his drunk driving conviction and other charges for causing the death of another motorist is ‘unbecoming’ of an educator who is a role model to children.
Darius Griffin, Jr., 27 is serving 6 ½ years at the Mountainview Youth Correctional Facility in Annandale after pleading guilty to vehicular homicide, assault by auto and being under the influence for crashing head-on into another motorist saying “he had a long day and had fallen asleep” while driving along River Road in the early morning hours of Oct. 14, 2017.
Investigators found he had been driving while intoxicated, crossing into oncoming traffic which led to the accident.
Griffin and his passenger were hospitalized with significant injuries but the driver of the other vehicle, Steven Kemmlein of Wayne was killed.
Attorney, Kenneth Brown, Esq. appeared before the board on Griffin’s behalf at a January 23 hearing presenting character reference letters and arguing that his certification to teach health and physical education should not be revoked because he did not have a history of alcohol abuse and “is not a threat to students/teachers or staff.”
However, board examiners determined “Griffin’s conviction demonstrates behavior that falls short of a role model,” citing a statute enacted “to protect public school pupils from contact with individuals whom it deemed to be inappropriate role models for them.”
According to MyCentralJersey.com, Griffin had been a health and physical education teacher and head basketball coach at St. Thomas Aquinas High School (formerly Biship Ahr) in Edison at the time of the crash.
He has been ordered to turn in his teaching license by February 24 and is set to be released from prison in April, 2024.
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