A veteran teacher in Santa Monica, California, is in hot water for saying senior President Trump adviser Stephen Miller was “strange,” messy and ate glue as a third-grader in her classroom.
Teacher Nikki Fiske was placed on “home assignment” by the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District to give the district time to decide if it will take any further action against her, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“Do you remember that character in Peanuts, the one called Pig Pen, with the dust cloud and crumbs flying all around him? That was Stephen Miller at 8,” Fiske said in a Hollywood Reporter story. “I was always trying to get him to clean up his desk — he always had stuff mashed up in there.”
Fiske also claimed Miller liked to eat glue.
“He would pour the glue on his arm, let it dry, peel it off and then eat it,” she said. “He was a strange dude.”
Miller, 33, was reportedly in Fiske’s class at Franklin Elementary School.
“I remember being concerned about him — not academically,” Fiske said in the article. “He was OK with that, though I could never read his handwriting. But he had such strange personal habits. He was a loner and isolated and off by himself all the time.”
The article is written in the first-person voice of Fiske “as told to Benjamin Svetkey,” a senior editor at the publication.
What did the district say?
Spokesperson Gail Pinsker said the district is concerned that Fiske released confidential student information. She also alleged the teacher may not have complied with “applicable laws and district policies.”
“This has been picked up by other digital publications and blogs, and some issues have been raised,” Pinsker told the Los Angeles Times.
Fiske’s comments led to some backlash, including an article in the Washington Examiner.
“The real takeaway from this story is that Fiske sounds like a real piece of trash,” Becket Adams wrote in an opinion piece. “What kind of teacher goes to an entertainment newspaper with gossip about an 8-year-old boy? Hell, forget that she’s a teacher. What kind of human being does that?”
HuffPost ran a story about Fiske’s comments, then later added an update that read:
“EDITOR’S NOTE: This story originally centered on the comments from Miller’s third-grade teacher. A public figure’s behavior when they were a child is not by itself newsworthy, and we regret treating it as such. The story has been updated throughout to focus on the teacher’s suspension.”
According to the Los Angeles Times, Fiske, 72, is a registered Democrat. Her Facebook page shows she supports “causes associated with liberals and progressives, such as gun control and halting the killing of dogs for meat in China.”
Miller is a senior policy adviser for President Donald Trump. He also was the former communications director for then-Sen. Jeff Sessions, the current U.S. Attorney General. Miller also worked as a press secretary for Republican Representatives Michele Bachmann and John Shadegg, KCAL-TV reported.