In Fulton County, Georgia, a high school coach is under fire with the district for protecting himself against a student who had a firearm in their possession.
Tri-Cities High School coach Kenneth Miller was fired for his choice of actions during the incident on Aug. 20, 2021. The district later counteracted their decision and placed him on suspension instead.
“I don’t feel like I did anything wrong,” Tri-Cities High School coach Kenneth Miller said, according to News 19. “I only adhered to what Fulton County School Board policy says you’re allowed to do.”
Police officers’ bodycam footage shows Miller confronting a student in the presence of authorities unknowingly aware of the student’s gun, which quickly escalated. The student struck Miller with a stapler and within moments, he was seen restraining the student until officers stepped in and took her into custody. A gun was found in her backpack.
“Teachers get put in terribly dangerous situations and they have to be supported by the school systems that employ them,” Miller’s lawyer said. “Those teachers are our first line of defense against guns and other types of terrible violence that happens in schools.”
A statement from the county district shared they feel Miller stepped out of line reprimanding the student.
“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 de-escalate 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.”
Tri-Cities High found multiple guns during on-campus searches throughout the year.
“I’m OK with him standing up for those children,” Kavon Smith Arnold told Fox 5. “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.”