ROPESVILLE, Texas– As a way to crack down during Human Trafficking Awareness Month, the Texas Department of Public Safety arrested a Ropes ISD employee who was accused of online solicitation of a minor.
On Monday, William Michael Simonton, 26, was arrested for the incident after an agent posed as a 15-year-old minor, according to DPS.
By Wednesday, Ropes ISD posted a statement on its social media confirming that Simonton was arrested for the incident.
He was booked into the Lubbock County Detention Center on a $25,000 bond.
By Wednesday, Simonton had posted bail.
Although it was the district’s understanding that no Ropes ISD students were victims of the conduct, Simonton was placed on administrative leave pending a further investigation into the incident, according to the statement.
Read the full statement from Ropes ISD below:
“Ropes ISD Administration has received information that a Ropes ISD employee was arrested for the offense of Online Solicitation of a Minor. It is the District’s understanding that no Ropes ISD students were victims of the alleged conduct. The employee has been placed on administrative leave pending the District’s further investigation into the alleged misconduct. The District has reported the matter to state licensing authorities, and, while it conducts its own investigation into the matter, the District intends to cooperate with law enforcement authorities to the fullest extent permitted by law.
Student safety is a paramount concern to Ropes ISD. The District’s policies concerning employee conduct are strictly enforced, and District employees receive regular training on the prohibitions against improper conduct toward children and students.
State and federal law prohibit the District from disclosing confidential personnel information. Therefore, the District cannot provide further information on this matter. The District takes every allegation of educator misconduct seriously and will take all measures necessary to ensure that its students are educated in a safe and nurturing environment.”