KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
May 20, 2019
By Natalie Cook Clark
A Morton Ranch High School paraprofessional has been charged with second-degree felony improper relationship for his involvement with a 17-year old student. Bennie Solomon, 25, is the second Katy ISD paraprofessional to be terminated after acting inappropriately this year.
Katy ISD Quickly Fired Employee
Solomon was fired after he was discovered to have had an inappropriate relationship with a student. According to court documents, Solomon allegedly started communicating with the student in February.
Prosecutors said another student told school officials on Friday about messages from Solomon to the student. He allegedly confessed to Katy ISD police officers that he sent the messages. Solomon worked as a secretary in the counselors’ office at the high school.
According to prosecutors, Solomon sent a message that read, "I want it so bad," and then another message asking to have sex with the student.
If convicted, Solomon could face up to a 20-year prison sentence.
Morton Ranch High School Principal Addresses Issue
Morton Ranch High School Principal Julie Hinson sent out a message addressing the issue.
Dear Morton Ranch High School (MRHS) Parents/Guardians and Staff,
The purpose of this message is to inform you that today the Katy ISD Police Department arrested a MRHS paraprofessional for engaging in an inappropriate relationship with a student. Upon learning of the incident, the paraprofessional was immediately removed from the school setting and was terminated.
Please be assured that the District takes these types of allegations very seriously and is fully cooperating with police. Providing a safe and secure learning environment is and will continue to be our top priority.
Second Case this School Year
Soloman's termination wasn't the first for such conduct this school year. In March, a Paetow High School paraprofessional, Kelsie Koepke, was fired. She was accused of sending nude pictures and videos to a fifteen-year-old male student. Like Solomon, Koepke was immediately terminated from her position through swift action from the district.
Such Cases on the Rise in Texas
The Texas Education Agency says that Texas has the highest number of reported inappropriate relationships between students and teachers/staff than any other state. During the 2017-2018 school year, the state of Texas investigated 429 cases of misconduct between school employees and students. This was a 42-percent increase from the previous year and a 249-percent increase compared to a decade ago. Pennsylvania reported the second-highest number of cases, with 47 last year.
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