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Unidentified man who entered Renfroe Middle bathroom actually a parent, school confirms

Crime and public safety Decatur

Unidentified man who entered Renfroe Middle bathroom actually a parent, school confirms

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Renfroe Middle School. Photo obtained via City Schools of Decatur


An unidentified man entering a student bathroom at Renfroe Middle on Tuesday, Sept. 10, prompted concerns about school safety.

But after Decatur Police issued an alert saying they were attempting to identify the man, staff at Renfroe Middle confirmed that he was actually a parent at the school.

Renfroe Middle School Principal Greg Wiseman confirmed the man’s identity in an email sent Thursday afternoon, Sept. 12.

Wiseman sent the initial email to parents notifying them that an unidentified man had walked into Renfroe, went into the bathroom and left the building. He had entered the building by following someone who had been buzzed in by the front office, Wiseman said in his initial email.

On Sept. 12, Wiseman said further investigation confirmed the man has a child at the school.

“I have completed a thorough review of the situation from Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019, and was able to determine that the person in the incident I communicated about previously was a Renfroe parent,” Wiseman said. “At the time of the incident, neither staff nor our onsite School Resource Officer (SRO) could promptly determine if the person was on our campus for legitimate reasons, therefore, our staff enacted our safety protocols immediately. Our protocols exist to ensure that students and staff on our school campus are safe.  As we were unable to promptly identify the individual, we did our best to quickly assess the situation and take steps necessary to ensure safety in our building.

“I am currently reviewing our security protocols and have already identified several ways we can improve our process to avoid this type of incident in the future and enhance security in our building. I also want to remind all parents and guardians that, immediately upon entry into our school, you must always check-in at the front office to receive a visitor’s badge if you will be leaving the main office and entrance area.  Thank you all for your patience, understanding, and support.”

Following Wiseman’s initial email on Sept. 10, Decatur Police issued an alert on Facebook asking for information about the individual that included a photo from a security camera. The alert asked people to contact an investigator or to contact Crime Stoppers.

Police have updated their Facebook post to confirm that the man has been identified.

“The investigation into the incident at Renfroe Middle School, where an unknown male was observed inside of the school by a staff member, has revealed the male was a parent of a Renfroe student,” the Police Department said. “The school system is conducting an administrative investigation into the incident. Our investigation has concluded and revealed no criminal act occurred.”

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