A Butler High School athlete is facing disciplinary action by the Richmond County School System and may face criminal charges once the investigation is turned over to law enforcement.
On Jan. 30, the Butler boys basketball team played at Jefferson County High School where Thomas Tate, a volunteer with the school’s athletic department, was attacked in the locker room with a belt by one of the school’s players. The incident was captured on grainy video shared by a local TV station.
Three days later, the administration at Butler was made aware of the incident, and the student involved was immediately suspended pending a hearing before a tribunal of school officials. According to the Richmond County Code of Conduct, that hearing should occur within 10 days of the beginning of the students’ suspension. The tribunal may elect to suspend or expel the student or send him to an alternative setting.
A summary of the tribunal will be available once it is concluded, according to the school system. Richmond County Director of Communications Kaden Jacobs said he is not aware if the student who recorded the incident will face disciplinary action.
Jacobs said in a news release that the school system’s investigative report will be turned over to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office when completed. Jefferson County authorities said they haven’t received anything yet.
“I haven’t seen any paperwork on that. We were told there is an investigation by the Butler school’s board of education police,” Jefferson County Chief Deputy Col. Clark Hiebert said Thursday. “When they finish their investigation, they’re supposed to turn the information over to our board of education; and, then they will turn it over to us. But that hasn’t happened yet.”
Dr. Mollie Howard, Jefferson County schools superintendent, said there were school officials present at the game but they saw nothing out of the ordinary. She said no official report has been given to the school district on the incident.
Butler lost the game, 66-65, at Jefferson County. Butler coach Cervantes Boddy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.