Principal: Most Students 'Do the Right Thing Each and Every Day'

Cartersville High School Principal Steve Butler responds to questions about an alleged incident on campus involving marijuana.

Cartersville High School Principal Steve Butler Credit: Cartersville High School
Cartersville High School Principal Steve Butler Credit: Cartersville High School
While Cartersville High School Principal Steve Butler declined to comment about an alleged incident involving marijuana on campus, he addressed concerns about students using drugs at the school.

His comments follow Bartow County's first seizure of suspected "molly," a form of MDMA or ecstasy with a chemical make-up similar to that of methamphetamine, which resulted in the July 23 arrests of one current and two former Cass High School athletes, Bartow County Schools students, on drug distribution and firearms charges. 

A day before school started Aug. 7 for both systems, Cartersville Superintendent Howard Hinesley and Bartow Superintendent John Harper held a joint press conference, saying students will face consequences if found to have violated school policy. Brandon Shea Etheridge, one of the teens arrested in the molly case, was Cass' starting quarterback, but his tribunal was set for the following Thursday, two days after school started back for the 2013-2014 year.

Since, two tipsters have told Patch that four Cartersville High School football players were involved in an incident on campus that included the students smoking marijuana and fighting.

"Due to federal and state privacy laws, officials of Cartersville High School will not comment on any incidents or alleged incidents that involve students at our school," Butler told Patch in an email. "What I can tell you is that we follow the Student Code of Conduct and abide by all school and system policies related to student behavior."

The system's Code of Conduct requires suspension with possible recommendation for expulsion for any drug offense at the middle and high school levels. Following the alleged incident, Hinesley said he was aware of no disciplinary tribunals, which could result in expulsions.

Echoing the worries of one parent who contacted Patch, we asked Butler if parents should be concerned about drug use at Cartersville High School.

"This is my 21st year as an educator and CHS is the sixth high school I have been part of over my career. CHS is similar to all high schools in that an overwhelming majority of students do the right thing each and every day," he said. "They come to school to get an education and make good decisions along the way.

"With that said, it is the responsibility of parents and educators to help young people refrain from making poor decisions. Parents should have confidence in the fact that they have teachers and administrators at CHS that are here to help and support their children as they grow up."

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