SANTA MONICA (CBSLA) – A longtime Santa Monica teacher who was placed on paid leave following her criticism of a current White House advisor who used to be her student has been reinstated back to her classroom.
Nikki Fiske, 73, was back teaching at Franklin Elementary School Friday, according to the Los Angeles Times.
In an interview published Oct. 10 by the Hollywood Reporter, Fiske described senior White House policy advisor Stephen Miller as a “strange dude” who ate glue as a third-grader.
On Oct. 12, the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District reported that Fiske had been placed on “home assignment” pending the completion of a review. At the time, a district spokesperson emphasized that the assignment was “non-disciplinary in nature.”
In an email to Franklin parents Oct. 12, the district wrote:
“Some of you may be aware of a news article voiced by Nikki Fiske. At this time, the District is reviewing the information. She currently has a substitute teacher in her classroom. She is not suspended, contrary to media reports. Thank you for your patience during this time.”
Miller, 33, who grew up in Santa Monica, is a senior policy advisor for President Donald Trump and the former communications director for then-Senator Jeff Sessions. He has also worked as a press secretary for Republican Representatives Michele Bachmann and John Shadegg.
In her interview, Fiske recalled a messy child who would spread glue on his arm, pull off the dried strips and eat them.
“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 told THR. “I was always trying to get him to clean up his desk. He always had stuff mashed up in there.”
“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.”
Fiske’ decision to describe her former student was widely denounced, both by Trump supporters and others who felt she was out of bounds to disclose a child’ behavior in this way.
Miller’s third-grade teacher is not the first person to emerge with stories of his time in Santa Monica. Last month, his rabbi called him out for the immigration policies he helped craft, and his uncle criticized him in a piece for Politico.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)