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District to Determine if Franklin School Teacher Violated Trump Aide's Privacy Rights


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October 12, 2018 -- A Santa Monica public school teacher has been re-assigned while District officials determine if she violated privacy laws or polices by writing about Trump aide Stephen Miller when he was her third grade student.

District spokesperson Gail Pinsker said Franklin Elementary school teacher Nikki Fiske has been placed on home assignment while district officials review the incident.

Fiske, who has been replaced by a substitute teacher, is still the teacher of record and the reassignment "is not implicating any disciplinary action," Pinsker said.

District officials are determining whether Fiske violated the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) "or other policies that might be related to privacy," Pinsker said.

In the short piece that ran Wednesday in the Hollywood reporter, Fiske compared an eight-year-old Miller to Pig Pen in the comic strip "Peanuts," "with the dust cloud and crumbs flying all around him."

She also described how the boy "always had stuff mashed up" in his desk and would pour "glue on his arm, let it dry, peel it off and then eat it."

“He had such strange personal habits," Fiske wrote. "He was a loner and isolated and off by himself all the time.”

Fiske wrote that her written comments at the end of the year "horrified" Miller's parents and the principal blanked them out.

Pinsker said she was unaware of Fiske's article until it was published.

"Whether she sought permission from anyone (in the District) is something we're also looking into," she said.

The story has been picked up by every major media outlet, including TIME and People magazine and disseminated by AP.

"It's been crazy," Pinsker said, adding that Thursday was the busiest day she's had in her 30-year career.

Miller, who graduated from Santa Monica High School in 2003, wrote a letter to the Lookout in his junior year saying political correctness at the high school was out of control ("LETTERS -- Political Correctness out of Control," March 27, 2002).


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