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.
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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.

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Chuchi
2
Points
Chuchi 09/20/08 - 12:51 pm
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I think compulsory

I think compulsory integration is no longer legal, madneighbor. I might be wrong about that. If an area is mostly populated by people of one particular race is in a school's zone then that school will mostly be attended by students of that particular race. That shouldn't matter. This is about education and helping kids have a better future by providing them with a safe and productive place in which to learn. That's true in any school regardless of the race of the majority of its students. Diversity is not the issue here; that has to take a back seat to education and safety when schools have serious problems like Butler seems to have. Incidentally, I don't understand why Dr. Bedden transferred Dr. Reeves to HHS when he apparently didn't like the job Dr. Reeves was doing at Butler. Does he believe that this principal is going to do a better job at another high school?

AugustaYouth
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AugustaYouth 09/20/08 - 01:05 pm
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I am a 2005 graduate of

I am a 2005 graduate of Butler. I started at Butler after leaving Virginia in 2001 right after September 11. The problems at Butler start from outside of the school. Dr. Reeves is a great man but lacks the "STAND UP" to the hard core "PREPAID" thugs that attends Butler. Most of the fights are neighborhood cliques that are so called "REPPIN THEIR HOOD". It's a well know thing that when you have so many different neighbor hoods in one school, there will remain tension. I'm from the Wood Lake subdivision. Butler also includes pepperidge, high point, lumpkin rd (as they call their hood), rosier rd, parts of richmond hill, apple valley, and the many others smaller areas in between. The problem is that most of these hoods are rivals. I would love to see the officials taking the fight to the streets where it originates before they make it to my Alma Mater. I'm not going to say that sometimes we/youth dont just act out to have fun but i will say that there are some in the school that are torn between fighting with their peers from their hood, or being bothered in the neighborhood when school isnt in session for not helping others fight at school. This can be very dangerous. I just pray!

jwtgone
12
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jwtgone 09/20/08 - 01:08 pm
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The situation at Butler is

The situation at Butler is pitiful. I graduated from there in 1986. David Smith was an excellent principal who didn't put up with junk. Teachers were allowed to break up fights immediately. We did not have to have police patroling our schools. Richmond County is an embarassment in terms of educating our children. I grew up in Richmond County but I moved to Aiken County 10 yrs ago before my children got too far in school. Charles Larke ruined Richmond County but it seems Dana Bedden is taking corrective measures. That is a positive step in the right directions. If parents would care about their kids, we wouldn't have half the problens we have in schools. I am involved with my children's education & I care. White & black is not the issue here. It is parent's involvement with their children. It is hiring teachers & administrative staff that care;not just collecting a paycheck! All counties should get rid of the dead weight in their schools.
I would like to say in closing that Brenda Smith(principal @ Paul Knox Middle School) is an excellent educator who cares about academics. John Bradley & Trey Laube are excellent Assistant Principals who handle discipline problems inmmediately.

jack
10
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jack 09/20/08 - 01:13 pm
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Strict discipline during

Strict discipline during school hours and those of age that disupt school get the boot and let their sorry disinterested parents worry about them. Dr Bedden should make it most uncomfortable for the dead wood in the system so that they retire or eventually have enough aganst them to fire them. Then hire only the best with the best credentials. Spineless principals will always have trouble with high school students as those are years of turmoil for teens trying to grow up.

keysplease
4
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keysplease 09/20/08 - 02:55 pm
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I think we need to develop a

I think we need to develop a program in the county where administrators can identify teachers who possess strong leadership qualities and begin to mentor them. That's the pool that new administrators can be drawn from. We are going to have to groom new principals and assistants because there is a shortage of good leaders in education. Many of the best principals were great teachers in the classroom: good classroom management, consistency, fairness, and most importantly, a love of the children for which they are responsible. For example, Mr. Ronald Middleton, who retired from Glenn Hills last year, was an outstanding teacher before he became an administrator (asst. principal for discipline). He was firm, but fair, and the students respected him. We certainly need to have more leaders like him.

In reference to the desegregation order, there are still two goals that haven't been met. Check out the reference: http://chronicle.augusta.com/stories/042008/met_195699.shtml

Angela Quick
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Angela Quick 09/20/08 - 04:30 pm
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just like I said from the get

just like I said from the get go...It starts with home..If these parents care about their children and were involved with their children as in home, school, and their surroundings then we would not have such a problem..And as for MGROOTHAND..i am not hypersensitive about my race, but it does not matter if all the children are black in one school or if they are all white. What matters is THE PARENTS GETTING INVOLVED IN THEIR CHILDRENS LIFE, MEANING SCHOOL, SURROUNDINGS..PARENTS GET INVOLVED....PLEASE HELP YOUR CHILDRENS SCHOOL OUT..GO TO YOUR CHILDS SCHOOL, SURPIRSE THEM MAKE A APPEARANCE AND CHECK THINGS OUT..LET THEM KNOW YOU CARE ABOUT WHAT GOES ON WITH THE SCHOOL AND YOUR CHILDREN..

whatashame
0
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whatashame 09/20/08 - 04:41 pm
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YEAH!!!!! Coach Thompson I

YEAH!!!!! Coach Thompson I am so glad you are getting the chance you deserve in Richmond Co. I know you will do a great job, you will be fair but very firm. To the parents who still have children in the the school system, support these folks who are trying to lead your kids, please believe they see things you wouldn't believe when it comes to your children. We all think are kids are angels but they aren't, it hurts to find out the truth but it is real. Coach, do your thing and help these kids get on the right track. I can say when you coached my daughter she learned alot from you and she reflected on how you really cared about all your players and students. You are a motivator, and I know it won't take you long to get those kids on the right track..

junebug
0
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junebug 09/20/08 - 06:28 pm
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South Augustans being South

South Augustans being South Augustans. Brilliant!

crackertroy
540
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crackertroy 09/20/08 - 07:04 pm
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Ahhh I miss the good ole'
Unpublished

Ahhh I miss the good ole' days at Butler when I used to break up those fights. There is actually a teacher on duty in that area (or used to be, it used to be me). It appears that it occurred during class changes after lunch (which is a usual time for a fight at Butler) so the teacher on duty was probably on their way back to class. A simple solution: NO MATTER THE COST GET AN ID SYSTEM AND IDS FOR EACH STUDENT. In this incident the student from ARC would have been easily identified and the students instigating the fight would be easily identified. The teachers can rip off their ID lanyards and all involved would be accountable. Students hate to know that they can be identified.

crackertroy
540
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crackertroy 09/20/08 - 07:05 pm
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BTW Dr. Reeves was terrible.
Unpublished

BTW Dr. Reeves was terrible. A security officer would have served as a better principal. Thompson will be an improvement for Butler (he can't possibly be worse).

jgforteachers
7
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jgforteachers 09/20/08 - 07:35 pm
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I graduated from Butler in

I graduated from Butler in the 80's and while it was rough at times, we did have some great teachers. I hate to hear about all the problems they are having now. I am married to a Richmond County teacher and feel that Dr. Bedden is on the right track, but the teachers desperately need support from Administration and the parents. When students are written up for severe behaviors in the class, nothing is done! Teachers are threatened, students just do as they please and know that nothing is going to be done. I know that everyone deserves the right to a free education, but come on parents help the educators so that your children will have the potential for a better life. Make sure your children know the difference between right and wrong. Teach them manners! There must not be any discipline in the home for these students to behave they way they do. I think that the parents just send them to school for the day to get them out of their hair.

crackertroy
540
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crackertroy 09/20/08 - 07:48 pm
0
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Everyone keeps saying
Unpublished

Everyone keeps saying "parents." Parents? What parents? Only one Butler parent has posted on this blog today. Over 1,100 students at Butler.

G0d BleSs yOu
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G0d BleSs yOu 09/20/08 - 07:50 pm
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i don't know why ya'll would

i don't know why ya'll would let a priciple that had a huge fights at his school and students didnt like keep a job at a high school at all. i attend hephzibah and i don't like that were getting a principle that don't care. i don't want my schoool to end up like butler. hhs has gang related thngs but they have settled down much less than last year and bringing in reeves would make our school go to krap. i say ship the principle to another school than mine. im happy with veta new and im sad she's leaving. but i hope reeves can keep his act together while he supervisies hhs. i love my school and i don't want anything to change. I say we make mr.johnson our vice principle our principle or Mr. white.

whatthefudgebrownies
0
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whatthefudgebrownies 09/20/08 - 07:51 pm
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I completely agree with the

I completely agree with the posts about the parents need to get involved. I teach at the elementary level in Richmond County and there is no parent involvement whatsoever. It's a shame that many of these children are simply raising themselves. The parents have no interest in their education, therefore, the kids take no interest in it either. They have no respect for authority, not even their principal. We need a Joe Clark to come and clean up all these schools, starting with the elementary ones. Maybe if we get to them at this level, we won't have the problems at the higher levels.

jgforteachers
7
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jgforteachers 09/20/08 - 08:06 pm
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I agree with anon. Crackertoy

I agree with anon. Crackertoy the reason everyone keeps saying parents is because childrens behavior is determined when they are young. Yes, some do well in elementary school and then act out in middle and high school, but lets face it, it all starts in the home and if a childs home life is dysfunctional how can we expect them to grow up with manners and good behavior? I would bet the majority of kids in Richmond County come for single parent homes with no active father in sight. They are exposed to drugs, bad language and gangs at an early age. What a way to start life! They have nowhere to go but up, but it is hard for them to better themselves if no one cares about them. They have no respect for any one in authority. My parents taught us to be respectful of adults. I don't see that happening in children today. Just go into any public place and the kids will just push you out of their way. My kid has been taught better and knows what bahavior is expected at school.

ImmaTeacher
0
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ImmaTeacher 09/20/08 - 09:09 pm
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It certainly is a shame what

It certainly is a shame what is going on at butler. But its a shame what's going on unnoticed at other schools as well. Take Westside for example. Westside doesn't have any severe discipline issues but there are still some problems over. Most of you won't believe it, but trust me there is. For one, there is entirely too much favoritism going on over there. Westside has not made AYP in 2 consecutive years. The faculty and administration want to place the blame on choice kids, but the real blame is on them. Westside like Davidson and Johnson are schools that can virtually run themselves and do. The problem is that when the clientelle changed over the past 2 years, the focus didn't. This comes from administration. They continued to operate the same as they have in the past. Even when they tried to meet the challenge of educating a different clientelle, it was nothing significant or innovative. Principals are foremost the instructional leaders of any school and excuse me for saying this, but what the HECK does ex P.E. teachers know about real classroom instruction. Yes, they have gone to school to get advance degrees, but most of their courses have been in management(leadership).

whatashame
0
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whatashame 09/20/08 - 09:18 pm
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There needs to be stiffer

There needs to be stiffer consequences for these children that want to act like savages. Suspension is just a vacation for them. I know budgets are tight but there has got to be something that can be done as a stiffer penalty for their actions. It isn't easy being a parent right now but they are going to have to get involved with the punishments some kind of way. We have lost the respect of these kids. They don't respect any type of authority and some tough love is needed right now. There is alot of work that could be done around the city, and if they are able to fight they should be able to work on the weekends if need be.....painting, cleaning, picking up trash, whatever..

ImmaTeacher
0
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ImmaTeacher 09/20/08 - 09:21 pm
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The administration at

The administration at Westside focuses more on Baseball and any other sports program then they do on instruction. Anyone knows that when you are a leader that it is critical that you surround yourself with other innovative individuals. But most importantly, you must be innovative and have ideas of your own. If you rely on others for all the ideas for how you can improve your school, then you are useless. And in my opinion, Tim Spivey is useless. Most people would not agree with that, especially those ones that work there that are in his click and are allowed to do whatever they want. The teachers do their job at Westside, but its in such an old fashion way that it makes it meaningless. And Spivey doesn't recognize that because he's not a true instructional leader. What he does is a good job of managing administrative stuff(paperwork). But other than that, he is only concerned about sports. He walks around with a sourpuss on his face all day like he can't wait to retire. I say Dr. Bedden take a look at all his principals and see what kind of leaders he really has on his staff. He should take all of them out of their comfort zones and see what they are truly made of. Sink or swim!

Pursefreak
0
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Pursefreak 09/20/08 - 09:36 pm
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I have absolutely no respect

I have absolutely no respect for you racist,misinformed, uneducated people. Crazyoldman, get a life!

ImmaTeacher
0
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ImmaTeacher 09/20/08 - 09:39 pm
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InTheKnow, I know exactly

InTheKnow, I know exactly what you're saying about Westside. Spivey is more concerned about sports. He has staffed the ISS class with 3 or 4 teacher each serving one period so Coach Barnes who retired last year making 80,000 a year could come back and coach his favorite sport baseball. From what I hear, he has even diverted more money to the program instead of spending that money in the classrooms so the teachers can rid themselves of chalkboards and overhead projector. Perhaps the choice kids did have something to do with the school not making AYP. But only because they never felt welcome or had a sense of belonging. The teachers there use the term "choice kids" with such a dissatifaction and the kids notice this. While their intentions may have been good for coming there, it changed because of the school's attitude. Many students expressed to me over the years how they didn't feel welcomed at the school, most black kids and its important to know that I'm a "white" person. To top it off, over the years the school had tried to do a black history program in which Spivey only give 30 minutes to. Last year he rescheduled it for March 14 instead of February the month which it occurs.

owensjef2
0
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owensjef2 09/20/08 - 10:47 pm
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mgroothand GROW UP!

mgroothand GROW UP!

daninicole
0
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daninicole 09/20/08 - 11:29 pm
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I am an elementary school

I am an elementary school teacher in Richmond County and to everyone who said anything about parents being involved, I agree 100% with you! I have actually had parents who say to me when I call about their child misbehaving ("What do you want me to do?" If the parents are not supporting their child's education then the teachers have an almost impossible job to do. As teachers we have had everything taken away. We can't spank, we can't tongue lash, we can't throw them out of the class, yet we are supposed to be able to educate the students who want to learn. We have our hands tied behind our backs and we REALLY need parents to step up and be parents. It is a shame that a parent won't show up for a parent conference about academics but will come up to the school in a second if their child is about to be suspended or is in some sort of trouble, to curse out the teachers and administrators. I believe that Dr. Bedden can turn the system around, but he cannot do it alone!!!

disssman
6
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disssman 09/20/08 - 11:50 pm
0
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I think that if a school is

I think that if a school is on the list as needing improvement, such as Butler, then drastic measures should be taken to restore dignity and focus for the students. The law says we need to provide an EDUCATION for students period. The law dosen't say anything about providing extras like clubs, and sports teams. I believe that if students are distracted by extraneous non-academic activities then those activities should be curtailed until the students start acting like STUDENTS. Given the above I believe Dr. Bedden and the RCBOE should impliment a policy immediately that stops all sports events and social activities for schools (like Butler) that have forgotten what a schools real purpose is. Further, schools like Butler, should be required to wear uniforms, until the student body achieves scolastic requirements. Maybe if we had some rules the kids didn't like, they would show a little more interest. As it is, we are really doing nothing to stop this type behavior and transfering personnel is a waste of time. If we really want change in our school, then take the hard line approach teach the kids that there are penalties when they don't follow the rules.

hdajm
0
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hdajm 09/20/08 - 11:50 pm
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i just hope the new assistant

i just hope the new assistant principal is not mr. reeves

benny
0
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benny 09/21/08 - 01:05 am
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any white students anymore?

any white students anymore?

whatthefudgebrownies
0
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whatthefudgebrownies 09/21/08 - 12:03 pm
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Daninocle....we must work in

Daninocle....we must work in the same place...I couldn't agree with you more...those parents come to schools in gladiator mode, ready to jump down our throats when it was their child disrupting class and interfering with everyone else wanting to learn...but somehow it is our fault. And the person who wrote about Dr. Bedden going out and seeing what kind of leaders he has in these schools, is so true...he needs to do a clean sweep. It's not fair that we, as teachers, get disrespected by students and parents and we have no support from our principals...because all they are concerned about is sitting around collecting a check to do nothing all day. You know something is wrong when students don't even respect the presence of their principal. It used to be a time where students feared misbehaving, and especially in front of their principal. I have seen times when a principal was asked to briefly monitor a class and the kids were out of control. Same thing in a local lunchroom, the principal could not get them to be quiet or even acknowledge their presence. Now how shameful is that. So yes Dr. Bedden needs to do a little housekeeping.

whatthefudgebrownies
0
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whatthefudgebrownies 09/21/08 - 12:06 pm
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And speaking of

And speaking of housekeeping...I am curious to know how many people are satisfied with the new clean up crews we have?? How can we expect our kids to take pride in their school when they have to sit in dirty classrooms and use dirty restrooms. The cleaning crews are stretched waaaayyyyy too thin. How can we expect a crew of maybe 4 people to clean 3 or 4 schools in 8 hours.

whatthefudgebrownies
0
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whatthefudgebrownies 09/21/08 - 01:11 pm
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http://www.dallasisd.org/keyn

http://www.dallasisd.org/keynote.htm

For anyone interested....this is a great link that shows the potential that ALL children have regardless of their background, race, gender or socioeconomic status.

cottoncandy16
28
Points
cottoncandy16 09/22/08 - 09:32 am
0
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I'm a parent of a child at

I'm a parent of a child at Butler. Ya'll are saying parents get involved, most of the parents are the problem. They are letting these kids do whatever they want to do. You are always hearing about the kids out at night til 1 and 2 in the morning. The parents don't even know where their kids are half the time. As long as they aren't bothering them. These kids are raising themselves, the parents are bums, so there kids turn out to be bums. They see their moms going to the club every night in street walking clothes and their dads are nowhere to be found. The girls follow their moms and they boys are out selling drugs helping mom pay the bills, they are the mom's new man.

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