Teacher pulled for glue story

Los Angeles Times - - CALIFORNIA - By Howard Blume

A teacher who re­counted how a se­nior aide to Pres­i­dent Trump ate glue as a third-grader has been pulled from her class­room.

The Santa Mon­ica-Mal­ibu Uni­fied School Dis­trict has placed vet­eran teacher Nikki Fiske on “home as­sign­ment” while it de­cides what to do, if any­thing, about dis­clo­sures she made about a young Stephen Miller.

Miller, 33, has grown up to be a se­nior ad­vi­sor to Trump. But his prospects did not ap­pear so promis­ing to Fiske when Miller was a stu­dent in her class­room at Franklin El­e­men­tary School.

“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 re­counted in an ar­ti­cle posted Wednesday by the Hol­ly­wood Re­porter. “I was al­ways try­ing to get him to clean up his desk — he al­ways had stuff mashed up in there.”

And there was a prob­lem with 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.”

The school dis­trict’s con­cern is “about her re­lease of stu­dent in­for­ma­tion, in­clud­ing al­le­ga­tions that the re­lease may not have com­plied

with ap­pli­ca­ble laws and dis­trict poli­cies,” dis­trict spokes­woman Gail Pinsker said.

“This has been picked up by other dig­i­tal pub­li­ca­tions and blogs, and some is­sues have been raised,” Pinsker said.

The brief ar­ti­cle is in the first-per­son voice of Fiske “as told to Ben­jamin Svetkey,” who is a se­nior ed­i­tor at the pub­li­ca­tion.

Fiske’s dis­clo­sures have prompted an­gry re­sponses.

“The real take­away from this story is that Fiske sounds like a real piece of trash,” wrote Becket Adams in the Wash­ing­ton Ex­am­iner. “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?”

The school dis­trict was del­uged with calls, emails and com­ments.

“I will tell you that we are see­ing more in sup­port of her and the 1st Amend­ment than neg­a­tive,” Pinsker said. Cur­rent and for­mer par­ents of stu­dents in her class­room “are over­whelm­ingly in sup­port of her.”

Fiske, 72, is a reg­is­tered Demo­crat who, based on her Face­book ac­count, sup­ports causes as­so­ci­ated with lib­er­als and pro­gres­sives, such as gun con­trol. Ac­cord­ing to her pro­file, she grew up in New York City and stud­ied at Rut­gers and Loy­ola Mary­mount uni­ver­si­ties.

She could not be reached for com­ment.

This isn’t the first time left-lean­ing South­ern Cal­i­for­nia has bashed Miller. The White House aide, who grew up with rel­a­tives who do not share his po­lit­i­cal views, has been de­nounced by both his un­cle and child­hood rabbi.

His un­cle, David S. Glosser, wrote in Au­gust that their own fam­ily would have been wiped out if the re­stric­tive im­mi­gra­tion poli­cies Miller fa­vors had been in force early in the last cen­tury. Rabbi Neil ComessDaniels crit­i­cized Miller in Septem­ber for his re­ported role in de­vel­op­ing the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion pol­icy that separated im­mi­grant par­ents from their chil­dren at the U.S. bor­der.

But no one had reached back as far as Fiske to sug­gest that Miller’s odd be­hav­ior as a child may con­nect to his adult self.

Out­ra­geous, con­cluded PJ Grisar in the For­ward.

“This is noth­ing short of char­ac­ter as­sas­si­na­tion — and of a child no less!” Grisar wrote. “Pig-Pen de­serves bet­ter.”

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