A Georgia high school athletic director was caught on video grabbing a female student who physically attacked him back in August.
Thing is, though, the student was suspected of having brought a gun to Tri-Cities High School that day — and sure enough, a gun was found in the student's book bag after the altercation, WAGA-TV reported.
However, the Fulton County School System didn't like that athletic director Kenneth Miller put his hands on the student, so the district fired Miller and then soon changed course and suspended him, WLTX-TV reported.
But Miller is fighting for his rights — and his supporters are calling him a hero for what he did.
What are the details?
Miller told WAGA that the principal on Aug. 20 called him to her office and told him to investigate reports that some students had guns on campus.
"During that process, we located guns," he told the station. "We saved lives."
Image source: WAGA-TV video screenshot
That day Miller was seen on video confronting an unidentified female student who was suspected of having brought a gun to school, WAGA said. According to WLTX, Miller said police were with him at the time.
Eyewitnesses reported the student was belligerent and aggressive, WAGA said, citing a personnel investigation report conducted by the district's Internal Affairs Department. WAGA added that police body cam video supported eyewitnesses' statements.
In the video in question — which is from a police body cam, WLTX said — the student smacked Miller's hands, knocking his phone to the floor.
Miller — fearing for his own safety, WAGA reported — grabbed the girl and backed her up to a wall. She soon was pushing Miller backward as well.
Image source: WAGA-TV video screenshot
After the altercation, a loaded gun was found in the girl's book bag, WAGA reported, adding that Miller said he located a second gun on campus that day, but it's unclear if the same girl was in possession of the second gun.
What happened next?
Miller's lawyer told WLTX the student was taken into custody, and Miller initially was fired — until the district eventually modified its decision and suspended him.
The district's internal investigation found Miller's conduct was unprofessional and in violation of both the Fulton County Board of Education Policy and the Georgia Professional Standard Commission's Code of Ethics for Georgia Educators, WAGA reported.
Miller doesn't see it that way.
"I don't feel like I did anything wrong," he told WLTX. "I only adhered to what Fulton County School Board Policy says you're allowed to do."
Miller's supporters are calling him a hero, WAGA said, and are none too pleased with the district's powers that be.
"I'm OK with him standing up for those children," supporter Kavon Smith Arnold told WAGA. "What I'm not OK with is him being railroaded, because at the end of the day teachers are put in very uncompromising positions to take care of our children."
Miller's lawyer told WLTX that "teachers get put in terribly dangerous situations, and they have to be supported by the school systems that employ them. Those teachers are our first line of defense against guns and other types of terrible violence that happens in schools."
Fulton County Schools offered the following statement to WLTX:
The district administration does not support Mr. Miller’s actions relating to this event and believes his conduct failed to meet the professional expectations it has for employees. Mr. Miller inappropriately intervened in a student matter being handled by school administrators and law enforcement. Mr. Miller acted outside of the scope of his authority and responsibilities. Mr. Miller’s conduct resulted in an escalation of a physical altercation with a student in crisis, which conflicts with district expectations to deescalate in these types of situations. Mr. Miller has not exhausted his due process rights at this time and remains on full, paid administrative leave. The district will not engage Mr. Miller or his attorneys in a public debate on this matter, but instead will allow the facts to drive the outcome of any related decision.
Coach who grabbed student found with loaded gun claims self-defense youtu.be