Unwelcome guest disrupts school

Published 6:18 pm Friday, February 5, 2010

A man wore out his welcome at Verbena Annex earlier this week after making the school’s personnel uneasy.

The Chilton County Sheriff’s Office reported that a man entered the school Tuesday and confronted a teacher, asking to speak with both the teacher and a student about disciplinary actions. His concerns apparently had to do with the student’s tardiness to class.

School personnel became suspicious of the man and asked him to leave, but he initially refused, Sheriff Kevin Davis said.

Sheriff’s deputies responded to a call from the school, but, upon arriving, found the man had left the premises. Both Verbena High School and Verbena Annex were placed under lockdown for approximately 90 minutes.

After a short investigation, deputies identified the suspect as an older man, reportedly the uncle of a student. After questioning, it was determined that he posed no real threat.

“An elderly gentleman that was raised in a different time, I think, is the problem,” Davis said. “I don’t think he was there to cause danger.”

He said the sheriff’s department had no choice but to take the situation seriously.

“We take every call to our school system very seriously,” Davis said. “We try to keep deputies outside the schools in the morning to help with traffic and be readily available if needed. We have also hired a deputy to go around to all the schools in the county and get to know the students and staff to help us have a better working relationship with the schools.”