Butler High to get new leader

Richmond County schools released surveillance video today showing a fight at Butler High School on Sept. 11 in which several students were arrested.
  • Follow Metro

Richmond County Superintendent Dana Bedden put Butler High School on notice Friday and announced he will be sending a new principal there to restore order and improve academics.

"We're going to find a way to make it uncomfortable for those who decide they don't want to be in a place they should be," Dr. Bedden said at a news conference. "For those who are not students at Butler, we're going to make it really uncomfortable."

Nonstudents will be arrested for trespassing, he said.

The superintendent also served notice to the school's employees.

"We've got a number of people on that staff who are doing an excellent job, but I have also seen a number of them who are not," Dr. Bedden said. "This will not be a place where you can stay around and collect a paycheck and buy time until you retire. Those days are over."

Dr. Bedden announced Gregory Thompson, the assistant principal at T.W. Josey High School, as Butler's next principal. The school board must approve the change.

Mr. Thompson has also served as principal of Strom Thurmond High School in Edgefield County, where he said discipline problems were similar to those at Butler.

"When you create a safe environment, you are creating an environment for academic achievement," Mr. Thompson said. "Probably the biggest challenge is changing the mind-set of the people in Augusta about Butler, changing the mind-set of the kids to create a different atmosphere at the school."

Dr. Bedden said he is requesting assistance from Sheriff Ronnie Strength to quell problems at Butler.

Sheriff Strength told The Augusta Chronicle that deputies have already been at the school several times this year.

"Whatever support they need from the sheriff's office, they will get," he said.

Lt. Scott Gay, of the sheriff's crime suppression team, said deputies were most recently at the school Sept. 12 and Monday after a fight Sept. 11 in which a dozen Butler students and a student from the Academy of Richmond County were arrested.

"I certainly think they notice the presence of an outside police force," Lt. Gay said.

Mr. Thompson will replace Walter Reeves, who has been principal since April 2003. Dr. Reeves will move to Hephzibah High School, where he will take over for Dr. Veta New, who will retire at the end of the month to take a position with the Georgia Department of Education.

On Thursday night, Dr. Bedden confirmed to The Chronicle that he was considering moving Tubman Middle School Principal Wayne Frazier to Butler. At noon Friday, however, he said his office had received an "overwhelming barrage" of phone calls from parents requesting that Dr. Frazier remain at Tubman.

Reach Greg Gelpi at (706) 828-3851 or greg.gelpi@augustachronicle.com.

Comments (56) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
askme2b123
0
Points
askme2b123 09/20/08 - 02:35 am
0
0
Thank you Dr. Bedden for

Thank you Dr. Bedden for keeping Mr. Frazier at Tubman.

99 problems
0
Points
99 problems 09/20/08 - 03:07 am
0
0
We hate to lose Mr. Thompson.

We hate to lose Mr. Thompson. He hasn't even broken in his office at Josey and in the short time that he's been there,he has done an excellent job as AP. I know he will do a wonderful job at Butler and the kids will love and respect him. He is a very respectable man. The teachers at Josey are disappointed but we know when duty calls you have to answer. Butler just received a blessing and they don't even know it yet.

GnipGnop
12443
Points
GnipGnop 09/20/08 - 04:14 am
0
0
Until they start putting

Until they start putting those knuckleheads that cause trouble out of school you will always have problems. I hope to see Butler become the great high school it was when I attended there!

As It Is
2
Points
As It Is 09/20/08 - 04:22 am
0
0
Attending school is not a

Attending school is not a right, it is a privelege. For those who are not attending for the sole purpose of receiving a good education, they should be immediately removed from the learning environment and placed in the alternative school or if necessary take further disciplinary action. Remove the class clowns, disruptive and behaviorial problem youth and you will greatly enhance the learning environment in a very quick time. As Joe Clark did many years ago in order to completely turn his school around....Throw the bumbs out and do it quickly. Those who want to learn will now have a great opportunity.

As It Is
2
Points
As It Is 09/20/08 - 04:42 am
0
0
For a start, why were this

For a start, why were this many students allowed to be in an unsupervised area? As you can see from the video, what started out as a verbal confrontation could have been quailed easily with proper supervision and immediate interaction to difuse the situation. Teachers should all be carrying radios while supervising these areas and although others did arrive quickly, they seem to have little control. What the hell happened to dress codes...pants down to their knees, tank tops and thuggish clothes all over the place. Go for school uniforms or at least a very strict dress code...and yes, there is plenty of doccumented evidence these measures are necessary and will help. Strong dress codes or school uniforms also help to easily identify tresspassers on campus in order to have them removed and arrested promptly. Strong discipline MUST be restored in these schools and it must start with the students, teachers and principals...stop waiting ont the police to have to do your job by instilling strict discipline followed up with stringet punishment. Make sure they know you are serious and the only purpose of school is to provide an education.

crazyoldman
21
Points
crazyoldman 09/20/08 - 05:25 am
0
0
I’m glad they finely

I’m glad they finely mentioned that someone from Richmond Academy was involved. Also, my opinion of Richmond County Superintendent Dana Bedden has changed greatly because of the disrespectful and unprofessional way he handled this. Now, when are we going to hear about the fight that accrued at Glenn Hills Thursday?

polyman
0
Points
polyman 09/20/08 - 05:59 am
0
0
I graduated from Butler in

I graduated from Butler in the 1970's, and it breaks my heart to see what has happened there. I hope a new principal will turn the school around.

scooter32
25
Points
scooter32 09/20/08 - 06:18 am
0
0
col.co is a joke can you

col.co is a joke can you clear something up for me? I just want to know who lied about having the educational credentials. Was it Greg Thompson or Paul Martin?

crazyoldman
21
Points
crazyoldman 09/20/08 - 07:03 am
0
0
polyman, I also was there in

polyman, I also was there in the 70s and I remember many many fights and kids getting into trouble for this that and the other. I remember the white kids could not go into the stairwell alone without getting jumped on and hit by the colored kids. So, anyway, polyman, just tell me what’s going on there that breaks your heart? Does it break your heart that they can’t smoke at school like we did? Does it break your heart that the seniors can’t leave and go get lunch like we did or does it break your heart like it does mine that a lot of parents these days don’t care about their kids? I really really would like to know what it is that breaks your heart about George P. Butler these days?

crazyoldman
21
Points
crazyoldman 09/20/08 - 07:30 am
0
0
Or does it break your heart

Or does it break your heart polyman that Richmond County Superintendent Dana Bedden went up to Butler and rudely and unprofessionally disrespected principal Dr. Walter Reeves?

HYPOCRITES 08
7
Points
HYPOCRITES 08 09/20/08 - 07:35 am
0
0
There were fights in Richmond

There were fights in Richmond County schools prior to Dr. Bedden coming here. I thought the Teachers and Staff did a good job in breaking this mess up.

IMOinNA
0
Points
IMOinNA 09/20/08 - 07:46 am
0
0
For the record why not give

For the record why not give Mr. Thompson a chance before you start putting him down! My child attends STHS and I was very sorry to see Mr. Thompson go! He made many improvements while at ST. His first concern is always education! He is very missed at ST by many parents! Butler is very lucky to have him and I am sure he will do a great job!

crazyoldman
21
Points
crazyoldman 09/20/08 - 07:51 am
0
0
Hard to believe HYPOCRITES 08

Hard to believe HYPOCRITES 08 but it’s true and I heard it through the grape vine that there was a fight at Glenn Hills involving parents and kids Thursday but I haven’t seen anything in the media about it. Well someone please find out about the fight at Glenn Hills and who is going to replace their principal because of it.

keysplease
4
Points
keysplease 09/20/08 - 08:46 am
0
0
Crazyoldman, I work at Glenn

Crazyoldman, I work at Glenn Hills and I didn't know that there was a fight. How can someone who isn't on the campus be more knowledgeable than those of us who are there everyday?

JustaVoice
0
Points
JustaVoice 09/20/08 - 08:47 am
0
0
David D. Smith (now retired)

David D. Smith (now retired) was appointed Principal at Butler several years back and took control of the school. It can be done, even in the worst schools. His presence was a blessing. Hopefully Mr. Thompson will call Mr. Smith and get some advice.

keysplease
4
Points
keysplease 09/20/08 - 08:49 am
0
0
Also, let's not use the

Also, let's not use the reference "colored" anymore. If you're living that far in the past, maybe you would feel more comfortable in Idaho or North Dakota.

crazyoldman
21
Points
crazyoldman 09/20/08 - 08:50 am
0
0
IMOinNA, I haven’t seen

IMOinNA, I haven’t seen anyone putting Mr. Thompson down. Col. Co. just said he hired a lyer Although, I noticed that he sure moves around a lot.

sang33
0
Points
sang33 09/20/08 - 09:05 am
0
0
crazyoldman: For your

crazyoldman: For your information, the first Chronicle story covering the 11 September Butler fight announced that 13 people were arrested and that one of them was an Academy of Richmond County student. it went on to say that 7 of those involved were 17 or older. Otherwise, how would I know that one of our students was involved?

Angela Quick
0
Points
Angela Quick 09/20/08 - 09:12 am
0
0
First of all, I am a staff

First of all, I am a staff memeber at Josey High School. and for anyone wanted to know...Mr. Thompson is a great person, he cares about the kids, either at Josey or in the streets. He is strict but he is fair..And he is a very hard working young man. We the staff at Josey High will greatly miss him. And we have faith in him to go over there and turn Butler around. We are just sad that he had to leave so quick..But it is not only going to take Mr. Thompson to turn Butler around, he is going to need the staff behind him and the parents. PARENTS GET INVOLVED IN YOUR CHILDRENS SCHOOL, just don't go when your child gets in trouble...and remember the turn around is not going to happen over night..It is going to take sometime..

crazyoldman
21
Points
crazyoldman 09/20/08 - 09:21 am
0
0
Sorry sang33 I must of missed

Sorry sang33 I must of missed that report. Thank you for the info. So, when are you all getting a new Principal?

crazyoldman
21
Points
crazyoldman 09/20/08 - 09:23 am
0
0
A-men bigaugustawoman!!!!!

A-men bigaugustawoman!!!!! That’s what I say……… PARENTS, PARENTS, PARENTS, “GET INVOLVED”

sang33
0
Points
sang33 09/20/08 - 09:25 am
0
0
crazyoldman: Next year.

crazyoldman:

Next year.

crazyoldman
21
Points
crazyoldman 09/20/08 - 09:29 am
0
0
keysplease go back and read.

keysplease go back and read. I said I heard and that is why I’m asking for more information.

crazyoldman
21
Points
crazyoldman 09/20/08 - 09:42 am
0
0
Let see sang33 you guys had a

Let see sang33 you guys had a fight and nothing is done and Butler has a fight because of your kids trespassing and Dr. Walter Reeves has to go. That makes a whole lot of since to me.

Craig Spinks
817
Points
Craig Spinks 09/20/08 - 09:54 am
0
0
HALLELUJAH! The Richmond

HALLELUJAH! The Richmond County School System finally has a superintendent with the intelligence to know what needs to be done in his system and how to get it done as well as the courage to get done what needs to be done.

lylagirl
1
Points
lylagirl 09/20/08 - 10:01 am
0
0
Dr. Bedden, I hope you

Dr. Bedden, I hope you realize that you have a pool of highly qualified educators who are willing and able to help Richmond County become a place where students can excel and compete with their more privaledged counterparts. Apparently, that fact goes unnoticed because there is a continous shifting of administrators who are incompetent. I would hate to think that we only have two principals who can turn any school around in our county. All I am expressing is get rid of the dead weight (in the proper way of course) and give some of your qualified faculty/staff the chance to help revitalize RCBOE. I am hoping you don't have to be in the "if you are in the click, you will get picked" circle to get a chance. Good luck in your endeavors. It will be a shame to run off more qualified and dedicated teachers and staff. We can't afford it!

mgroothand
5
Points
mgroothand 09/20/08 - 10:16 am
0
0
The only white faces I saw in

The only white faces I saw in the video were of security people breaking up the fight. Are there any white students attending Butler High School? Or is there implied segregation?

Angela Quick
0
Points
Angela Quick 09/20/08 - 12:06 pm
0
0
mgroothand....It does not

mgroothand....It does not matter if the children are white or black..These are our children of the future..You should not judge anyone by the color..The thing is that Butler and other schools needs help so they are going to send the person they think can handle the job..If not then I don't think Dr. Bedden will stop until the job can be handle. Dr. Bedden has not and will not give up on OUR CHILDREN. If the Richmond County School System PARENTS would get involved and stay involved with their children schools then things will get better. PARENTS GIVE SUPPORT!!!!!!

madneighbor
0
Points
madneighbor 09/20/08 - 12:08 pm
0
0
My child is one of the few

My child is one of the few white kids at Butler and I must say that this is a county-wide problem. They were also 1 of 3 white students at Tubman Middle School. How are we to teach diversity if there is such an overwhelming majority of one ethnicity? We need more integration in our schools. If you look at the statistics that Davidson Fine Arts uses when recruiting their Freshman class, ethnicity and gender are evenly distributed. If this model were to be followed, a carefully thought out transportation plan could even be put into place. If RCBOE concentrated more on the basics like this vs. the "office politics" that lylagirl stated, schools could go back to being teaching institutions instead of daycare centers or youth detention centers.

mgroothand
5
Points
mgroothand 09/20/08 - 12:48 pm
0
0
bigaugustawoman: First, I was

bigaugustawoman: First, I was merely making an observation, nothing racial meant or implied. Second, I did not judge anyone because of color or otherwise. Again, just an observation no "judging". But at this time I would judge you as being hypersensitive about your race.

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs