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Race to the Top-funded 'Bounty Hunter' patrols Butler High School halls

Sunday, March 25, 2012 4:17 PM
Last updated Monday, March 26, 2012 8:06 AM
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The students at Butler High School have a name for the man who patrols their halls.

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Site Safety Monitor Darrick Broddie's presence at Butler High School has cut the number of students skipping class from 15 during each class change in November to about 10 a day now. He walks the campus from 7:30 a.m. until 3 p.m., looking in corners and courtyards for students slacking off.  ZACH BOYDEN-HOLMES/STAFF
ZACH BOYDEN-HOLMES/STAFF
Site Safety Monitor Darrick Broddie's presence at Butler High School has cut the number of students skipping class from 15 during each class change in November to about 10 a day now. He walks the campus from 7:30 a.m. until 3 p.m., looking in corners and courtyards for students slacking off.

They call him the Bounty Hunter.

Every day, Darrick Broddie, 33, walks the campus in search of students skipping class, arriving late, dragging on a cigarette outside or trying to drive away before dismissal.

When they see Broddie coming, some run. Occasionally he runs after them. Other days he lets them go, knowing it’s only a matter of time until he catches up to them.

“If you’re skipping, I’m going to write you up,” Broddie said. “I just tell them, ‘You know you’re cutting. Just come on.’ If you want to run, you can run. But you can’t outrun the paperwork.”

To cut down on skipping and tardies, Butler High School hired a site safety monitor in November, essentially a full-time hall monitor, to keep track of students.

His presence has cut skippers down from about 90 per day in November to currently about 10 a day, Broddie said. He walks the campus all day from 7:30 a.m. until 3 p.m., looking in corners and courtyards for students slacking off.

When he catches one, Broddie either escorts the student back to class or writes them up, depending on the severity of the offense.

The students have taken notice, said Butler freshman Anthony Humphrey, because the consequences for running into Broddie are harsh. Zero tolerance means one day in-school suspension for one tardy or skip - more if you’re a repeat offender.

“They see Broddie and they take off,” Humphrey said. “They make sure they get to where they need to be. If you’re supposed to be in here, he makes you get there.”

Butler is using part of its federal Race to the Top grant money to fund Broddie’s $20,000 position. Principal Gregory Thompson said it was necessary to turn Butler around into an excelling school.

With Butler’s campus so spread out and broad, there are convenient places for students to hide from teachers or wander off.

“Skipping was a problem,” Thompson said. “Now they have to get past Mr. Broddie. He can be anywhere in the building. They can’t pinpoint where he is.”

The school has also used RTT funds it began receiving last summer to buy a computer lab, improve data strategies, hire another administrator and help train teachers in approaches to increase the graduation rate and achievement.

In four months on the job, Broddie has learned most of the tricks of the young. He knows which halls have back doors students can prop open and bolt out during class changes. He’s learning the faces and names to figure out which students don’t belong in each lunch period.

Most of all, he’s learning their stories.

Broddie said behind almost every habitual skipper is a deeper issue. Some say they just don’t want to deal with the teacher that day or that they left a textbook at home. Other times these students are carrying the pressures of home to the classroom.

“I try to sit them down and explain you can go to school for 12 years and at least get a diploma or drop out now and have a horrible life,” Broddie said. “When you go from being a kid to an adult it’s a different beast, and you make a mistake and it’s hard to come back from it. But for some, nothing’s going to change. For others they say ‘Yeah, you’re making sense.’”

The hall monitoring is just one way Broddie reaches children in the community. He’s also a mental health technician at Lighthouse Care Center, where he works with runaways, sex offenders and kids caught in the juvenile justice system.

When he has the time, he works with the Boys and Girls Club and coaches community basketball at Murphey Middle School.

He’s currently finishing his masters of education at Augusta State University and hopes to become an elementary or high school teacher.

Having attended Glenn Hills High School growing up in Augusta, he sees a different type of student in the schools today. When he was a student at Glenn Hills, getting a tardy or being assigned in-school suspension was “like the end of the world.” But now he says, ISS is like doing the students a favor.

That’s why every day he’s not just watching the halls. He’s trying to make a change in the students he catches.

“There’s a lot of single parents, and the single parents are mothers,” Broddie said. “A lot of kids don’t have male figures, and if they do have a male figure it’s not a positive one. I just see how the future is going, and it’s getting really bad. You can’t save them all, but you try to.”

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Radwaste
427
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Radwaste 03/25/12 - 05:38 pm
6
3
Too bad the parent

Too bad the parent responsible for this isn't looking at this article. Just as there are no bad dogs, there are no bad children (in the majority of cases) that are not taught to be bad.
And their training is often what not to do.
On the off chance that you're one of Mr. Broddie's "fish", step back, take a look at what you're doing. Then, take a look at what successful people are doing - and do that. Its not really a "you vs. him".

showboat
369
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showboat 03/25/12 - 08:47 pm
0
0
What is going on in our
Unpublished

What is going on in our schools?$20.000 dollars to walk the halls all day and make students go to class, This is crazy do other things with the money. Who approved to spend money this way?

InChristLove
22485
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InChristLove 03/25/12 - 09:01 pm
4
2
Dang, why would someone post

Dang, why would someone post a thumbs down on Radwaste post?

I think this is great. Hopefully in the process of making sure students are where they need to be, he can mentor and reach a few troubled kids and turn their lives around. Sounds like his heart is in the right place, he's reaching out to some of the students, and improvement to Butler High School is a plus.

Common.sense
465
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Common.sense 03/25/12 - 11:37 pm
0
1
That's barely a livable wage.

That's barely a livable wage.

Tots
26317
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Tots 03/26/12 - 04:49 am
2
1
He needs to stop letting some

He needs to stop letting some of the studends slip by when they do wrong....Just saying,be tuff on all of them..

Tots
26317
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Tots 03/26/12 - 05:08 pm
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1
common.sense,wrote@5:49-That'

common.sense,wrote@5:49-That's barely a livable wage.

Tots,says-That's what most bus drivers make,but their select few who make close too $40,000.I wonder Why?

Ret-lovit
0
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Ret-lovit 03/26/12 - 07:27 am
2
0
Broodie, what an outstanding

Broodie, what an outstanding job you are doing in reaching the hearts and souls of these youth. God will reward you with your riches;if you have reached the heart and minds of one child, you have reached many. Good luck to you in your future plans.

ripjones256
-1
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ripjones256 03/26/12 - 07:47 am
0
0
Mr. Broddie -- As said above,
Unpublished

Mr. Broddie -- As said above, great job you are doing for the students of Richmond County. When you get ready for a teaching job, Richmond County will be stupid, if they don't find a position for you. If they can't find one, check with Columbia County -- a dedicated person, wanting to teach is a real gem.

Just My Opinion
6304
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Just My Opinion 03/26/12 - 08:12 am
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0
Hey, Darrick is out there

Hey, Darrick is out there making a living, and that's a good thing. On top of that, he's trying to make an impression on these young people...get them to make better decisions. A positive MALE role model is what most of these kids need. I think we can all agree on that.

Riverman1
94433
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Riverman1 03/26/12 - 08:23 am
1
1
I like the Dog, too, but the

I like the Dog, too, but the whole idea of making kids attend school is off. School should be a privilege to attend. Making kids go is disruptive to teachers, other students and discipline as a whole. Some kids do quite well out working and making their way up the ladder with hard work, learning a trade as a helper and common sense. These same kids can be trouble to the school and themselves. Let them go.

KNECKBONE
28
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KNECKBONE 03/26/12 - 08:25 am
1
1
he also works at the

he also works at the lighthouse care center-so he's not living off 20,000 dollars .

InChristLove
22485
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InChristLove 03/26/12 - 08:33 am
0
1
riverman, I understand your

riverman, I understand your concept but please explain "Some kids do quite well out working and making their way up the ladder".

Please tell me how these young teens make it in today's job market without at least a high school diploma. If they don't attend school they can't earn a diploma. If they don't attend class they never learn the necessary skills to pass a GED. So where does this leave them? On the streets, going down the wrong path.

Yes, School should be a priviledge to attend but how many 16-18 year olds do you think, are mature enough to view it this way? Until they get in their early 20's most aren't mature enough to understand how important a basic education is....by that time they've become streetwise in the 3 or 4 years since they've dropped out of school with no job.

One of the problems is we have failed to teach our children, there are some things in life we don't like to do but hey, that's life....just do it. My son hated school and it was a struggle from the time he was 16 to 18 but as a PARENT I perseverved and he graduated. Know what, now that he is 20, he appreciates it. Still doesn't like school but he understands the importance of an education.

Riverman1
94433
Points
Riverman1 03/26/12 - 08:44 am
1
1
ICL, I understand your

ICL, I understand your concern, too, but do you agree they are usually disruptive when made to stay in school?

But many who drop out of high school DO have the skills necessary to pass a GED or perform well. For whatever reason, some can't function in a school environment. There's also a real possibility some just can't master the skills to graduate from high school. Some of these kids work very well in all kinds of jobs.

If you are talking about learning skills, there are helper and apprenticeship programs where the person works at low wages while he learns the trade.

We both know lots of people I bet who went to work doing something menial at 16 and ended up owning the business. I'm not saying we give up on kids who want to drop out, but we channel them in the right direction and not make them outlaws for the simple fact they drop out.

Riverman1
94433
Points
Riverman1 03/26/12 - 09:01 am
2
1
Ever see those shows on A and

Ever see those shows on A and E and the History Channel. These guys (and women) getting logs out of the river, killing alligators, cutting trees, gold hunting and all? They often do pretty well with good, hard physical work.

InChristLove
22485
Points
InChristLove 03/26/12 - 09:27 am
2
1
Riverman, I agree with your

Riverman, I agree with your 9:44am comment. Guess I interpreted your earlier comment wrong. I still think it best to keep our young people in school but IF you have a student who is continuously disruptive in school then I agree, it's best to remove him/her and train them in something they can be productive in.

Yeah, seen those shows a few times and I'll agree it's some good hard physical labor but in my opinion not much brain action. Stick your hand in a muddy water to pull a gator out, is low on the common sense side for me, no matter how much that gator will bring. :)

jusme
4
Points
jusme 03/26/12 - 11:27 am
2
0
great idea -all schools will

great idea -all schools will probably end up doing this but it does take a special person and it sounds like Broodie is perfect for the job. Someone who not just barks orders but takes an interest in these troubled youth. If he makes a difference in one life, its worth it.

GSneed
0
Points
GSneed 03/26/12 - 11:36 am
3
0
Great job, Broddie! You are

Great job, Broddie! You are definitely the right man for this job. Continue making a positive impact on the lives our troubled youth.

raul
5786
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raul 03/26/12 - 12:19 pm
1
0
I find it sad to think a full

I find it sad to think a full time tardiness and absence monitor has to be hired to make students do the right thing. I knew to be on time and attend classes without having a monitor. The kids need to be informed of the rules and the consequences for breaking them. Then, let the chips fall where they may. Do you think when they find a job after graduating, there is going to be a monitor to make sure they follow the rules?

Little Lamb
49277
Points
Little Lamb 03/26/12 - 12:32 pm
1
1
One thing to remember is that

One thing to remember is that this Race-To-The-Top money will run out in a couple of years. I presume they'll have to let Broddie go.

Craig Spinks
818
Points
Craig Spinks 03/26/12 - 01:47 pm
1
0
How 'bout keeping Mr. Broddie

How 'bout keeping Mr. Broddie and hiring 24 more "Bounty Hunters" next year with the $500K the RCSS could save if it paid Pete Fletcher next year what the Aiken County Public School System paid its school board attorney last year?

raul
5786
Points
raul 03/26/12 - 01:56 pm
0
0
@CraigSpinks. How much was

@CraigSpinks. How much was Pete Fletcher paid and how much was the Aiken school board attorney paid?

jaterrogers
0
Points
jaterrogers 03/26/12 - 02:46 pm
2
0
I am currently a student at

I am currently a student at Butler High School. This is my first year there, coming from A. R. Johnson, and I must say Mr.Broddie has had a huge impact on our learning environment at Butler High School. When we are just having a bad day, and need someone to talk to, Mr.Broddie is always there to listen. He wants to see us doing the right thing and he pushes us to do what is right. I'm so happy that we as the students at Butler have someone at school who helps us and keeps us out of trouble . Kudos to Mr. Broddie and all of his efforts he has put forth for us !

Craig Spinks
818
Points
Craig Spinks 03/26/12 - 05:01 pm
0
0
(R)aul, 608K USD and <100K

(R)aul,

608K USD and <100K USD, respectively.

raul
5786
Points
raul 03/26/12 - 07:41 pm
0
0
@CraigSpinks. That is a heck

@CraigSpinks. That is a heck of a lot of money. Fletcher doesn't sit in on everyone of these tribunal/disciplinary hearings, does he?

Martinez
154
Points
Martinez 03/26/12 - 09:20 pm
0
0
I agree with Riverman, don't

I agree with Riverman, don't force disruptive students who really don't want to be there to attend. Let teachers focus on those who want to learn.

class1
300
Points
class1 03/29/12 - 07:21 pm
0
0
In School Suspension is a

In School Suspension is a joke to most students especially in the middle schools.

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