Local News

Ex-band director faces student sex charges

Posted February 9, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

— The former band director at Southern High School was charged Monday with having sex with students, police said.

Jamal Butler, 30, of Calibre Park Drive in Durham, surrendered to police Monday and was charged with two counts of sexual activity between school personnel and a student. Police said the charges involved alleged relationships between last July and Jan. 8 with two girls at the school, both of whom were 16 or older.

Southern High School sign Sex charges against bandleader stun school

Butler resigned his position at Southern High, effective Jan. 29, said Michael Yarborough, spokesman for Durham Public Schools.

The school district conducted an internal investigation into the criminal allegations against Butler and cooperated with police, Yarborough said. The results of the internal review won't be released, he said.

Butler, who was released on a $20,000 bond, had been band director at the school since August 2007.

An unidentified man who answered the door at Butler's home Monday afternoon declined to comment on the case.

The charges stunned Southern High students.

"I was shocked. I thought he was a good man. I didn't know anything about it," senior Brandon Alexander said.

Jasmine Bailey, a former member of the school's flag team, said she had seen Butler befriend many female students.

"He was a good band director. He knew a lot about music and knew what he was doing," Bailey said. "When it came to females, I know he was very friendly."

North Carolina has one of the toughest laws on teachers, coaches and other school personnel having sex with students. Under the law, if a school employee is more than four years older than the student, having sexual relations with a student is a felony regardless of consent.


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  • tracyallen Feb 9, 2009

    NC has a law that any teacher (or anyone) having "custodial control" over another person at any time can not be having sex, regardless of "age of consent".

  • firecaptain2000 Feb 9, 2009

    "Under the law, if a school employee is more than four years older than the student, having sexual relations with a student is a felony regardless of consent."

    OK, I thought that 4 year rule was the statutory requirement whether the perpetrator is an employee of the school system or not. It's my understanding NC has a law forbidding any school employee from having a relationship with any child who is enrolled in the same county school system. If that requirement is met first then the 4 year rule would apply.

    Do you recall the 22 year old female teacher who was charged in Buncombe County as a sex offender and the boy was 19 years old? He was enrolled in the same school system that employed the female teacher.

  • tracyallen Feb 9, 2009

    Just like with the ex-coach (award winning 8 year veteran sports director at LHS in Louisburg) - this band teacher was supposed to INSTRUCT the young people how to act, how to succeed, how to behave.

    So now the children have been taught that it is okay to take advantage of children just because you are so idolized by everyone in the community.

    The abuse of children will continue until SOMEBODY that has some authority grows some kahonees and makes teachers ACCOUNTABLE for their abuse of power and influence.

    It is too well known that pedophiles will take jobs that gives them the access and authority over kids of their "age choice".


  • grayboomerang Feb 9, 2009

    SO LOW....happens on here all the time. We should just all say "Bless his heart"..no big deal right? Oh he did so much for the band program, so therefore we should all just feel sorry for him. He put his trust in those KIDS, so we should just feel sorry that they ratted on him.

    If it were a woman teacher, there would also be about 15 male posters applauding and saying they wished it had happened to them when they were in school.

    Apparently, our society doesn't grasp the concept of teacher/student relationships. Regardless how the girls dressed, behaved....he is an adult and their teacher. Any person who gets a teaching degree (and yes, I have one) and doesn't understand moral obligations of that job, has absolutley NO business in a school. Perhaps colleges need to add a morals class in the education cir.

    Personally, I wish the punishment was tougher on all these pediphiles...both women and men.

    You have to wonder why they can't find someone closer to their on age.

  • kikinc Feb 9, 2009

    Wow, I thought the Barry White comments were funny, even if bit off color for the topic. But to lash out for them, that's going a little bit overboard. Sarcasm goes a long way. People shouldn't take everything so literally.

    Besides that, it doesn't matter if he did it, or whether it was consensual, etc. It's a crime in this state to have sex with one of your students. If you can't control yourself, that's on you.

  • snooti99 Feb 9, 2009

    I also say if it hasnt affected the girls yet, it will once they Grow Up. God Bless them, and for everyone saying he has a moment of weakness, let's not forget it's TWO young ladies he slept with meaning fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. HE KNEW BETTER! God Bless him too because in the end, we are not the ones he will have to answer too. Truth be told, The children spend the majority of their time at school, under teacher supervision. We TRUST them with our babies - no matter what age - College professors with students included. They are there to teach them. I've seen more people upset with the teacher who got caught WATCHING child porn in his house (some of which were teenagers) then they are with this teacher for SLEEPING with two students. I don't believe either one of them should be allowed to teach again. We seriously have to pray for our kids. For everyone.

  • phillipfuller Feb 9, 2009

    he did do alot for the band. we won countless awards and honors all across the state. he earned everyones trust and respect including mine. he abused it all! there is no excuse on earth that can excuse what he did. i read the comments about him being a "good person" i really thought he was too, but i just cant say that about a grown man who sleeps with children... if we read this story and it was in another town or state we would say he's disgusting and he's a pervert and much worse im sure. and for those who blame the girls, yes todays young lady is alot different than in the past, they fear nothing and respect less. but thats why you have adults who are suppose to guide them in the right direction and not take advantage of it. thats called being a preditor. deep down i hope he did not do it, but if he did it can not be excused

  • ljcs357 Feb 9, 2009

    Why is he out on bail? More than likely, he will run.

    LOL...Run where?

  • snooti99 Feb 9, 2009

    for some reason my comment didn't go through.

    Basically, he did this to himself. Is it really fair to blame the girls for how they dress? Does it even matter who tempted who, the fact still remains that HE WAS THEIR TEACHER. Good man or not he knew better. Is the band being taken to the highest level ever more important than the fact that this man slept with two students? Is the fact that they are 16 and older mean that it's ok for them to sleep with the teachers? Seriously, these are still kids and regardless to whatever happened as far as who approached who, who dressed like this or that, what music the band played, the school, the problem is these teachers are sleeping with the kids. I believe harsher punishments need to be handed out by the government for them. We are trusting them with our kids at school and on out of town trips. Come on now! This is ridiculous.

  • Dr. Dataclerk Feb 9, 2009

    he should have thought about the consequences before engaging in sexual acts with his students.
    SO LOW

    Many times these certain teachers are not thinking about the consequences. They put all their TRUST into these girls/boys thinking they will not talk. How foolish to think that of a teenager. They will talk to their friends. He knew better and was wrong. Hopefully he will never be allowed back in the school system and will be tried to highed extent of the law. Yes, the girls knew better but thought it was fun, until they all were caught including the teacher. Shame on him.