An Oklahoma City man who was working as a substitute teacher in the Yukon school district was arrested Monday by El Reno police after allegedly sending inappropriate texts to what he thought
was a teenage girl.
Jeffrey Hutchins Smith, 61, was arrested in El Reno on allegations of lewd or indecent proposals to a minor and violating the Oklahoma Computers Crime Act.
He was being held Tuesday in the Canadian County jail on $25,000 bail.
Yukon schools Superintendent Dr. Jason Simeroth released a statement late Tuesday morning indicating the district is aware of the arrest.
“As you know the protection of students is of the utmost importance to the members of the Yukon School District, we see each and every student as an extension of our family. Yesterday afternoon, I was contacted by the El Reno Police Department regarding an individual that was engaging in an inappropriate texting conversation with what he thought was a teenage girl. The individual in question was arrested yesterday (Monday) in El Reno.
“During the investigation, it was uncovered that the individual had applied for a background check with the state department of education, a national criminal history record search. While the background with the OSDE was clear, the police department continued to follow the trail and identified the individual as a substitute teacher in Yukon beginning in November 2018. Once again, the person involved passed all background checks and was cleared prior to any employment opportunities.
“At this time, we have no reason to believe that there were inappropriate actions with any of our students but we will continue to work with the detectives as they gather more information. All of our classrooms where substitutes are present are monitored closely by the site administrators and teachers.
“We believe that it is our responsibility to notify our patrons of such situations so that you are able to discuss with your children that no matter what the situation, school, church, grocery store, athletics, any time they are uncomfortable with a situation or an individual they need to tell someone they trust.
“Bad people try to find ways to do bad things and we are thankful that our staff and our law enforcement officers find ways to stop them.
“Finally, the person in question did not substitute in every school in our district.
“To provide further transparency, we will be sending an additional notification to the parents/guardians of the students in classrooms where the suspect substituted. Should they need to speak with anyone about anything, our counselors and administrators will be available for students and parents. If you do not receive an additional message, then your child was not in a classroom where the individual was present,” Simeroth wrote.