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‘Physical aggression’ targeted at Butler high school

A letter sent to Butler Senior High School families this week said administrators are taking measures to address “physical aggression and other serious misconduct” from students, including hiring more staff and increasing supervision in campus areas.

Last week, Butler Area School District superintendent Brian White sent a separate letter addressing criminal behavior, which notified students, parents and guardians that district administrators met with law enforcement agencies to respond to issues.

The letter sent this week said members of the campus population “have seen disturbing behavior taking place this year.” It also said that school administrators will contact police should behavior get to a problematic level, and further in-school action would take place.

“We will continue to notify the police, as we have been doing, when student behavior reaches a criminal level,” White said. “I have directed our school principals to suspend students up to 10 days and schedule a board hearing for any student whose behavior warrants such a response.”

In addition to addressing the behavioral issues, the district is implementing its own intervention center that will operate as part of the BASD Cyber Learning Program, according to White’s letter.

White’s previous letter referenced the district’s partnership with Glade Run Lutheran Services, which offers therapeutic services to students who need support. The school district’s intervention center would be an after-school program for students who have been suspended or expelled.

“The intent is to provide a learning environment that separates students who negatively impact others from our Senior High School on a daily and ongoing basis,” White said. “We do not intend to allow students who act in a physically aggressive manner or are involved in other significant disciplinary issues to attend the Senior High School during the school day.”

White also listed a number of other actions the district plans to implement to help curb aggressive behavior.

According to the letter, the district plans to hire a second dean of students for the high school, increase compensation for teachers to voluntarily supervise hallways and other other areas, establish a lunch detention program and have a Board Certified Behavioral Analyst at the school train the high school’s advanced tiers team.

With the restrooms also being an area of concern, the school board issued a change order modifying the new restrooms to provide individual privacy, aiming to eliminate group gatherings in a restroom.

At the beginning of his letter, White applauded the “vast majority” of students who are well-behaved and respectful during their time in school. He ended the letter saying that addressing the students performing the aggressive behavior will be a continuous process.

“Our plan is to start with several tactics that will hopefully help us address inappropriate behavior on many levels,” White said. “We hope you will work with us to promote a safe and positive learning environment for all.”

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