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Santa Monica Teacher Put On Paid Leave After Divulging Memories Of White House Aide Stephen Miller

SANTA MONICA (CBSLA) — A veteran Santa Monica teacher has been placed on "home assignment" after describing senior White House police advisor Stephen Miller as a "strange dude" who ate glue as a third-grader.

The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District said Friday that 73-year-old Nikki Fiske, who teaches at Franklin Elementary School, was placed on home assignment pending the completion of a review, spokeswoman Gail Pinsker said in a statement. She said the district would are not able to comment further because it is a personnel issue.

In an email to CBS2, Pinsker emphasized that the assignment is "non-disciplinary in nature."

In an email to Franklin parents Friday afternoon, 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 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. But his future career was apparently not readily apparent from his time as a student in Fiske's Franklin Elementary School classroom.

"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."

Fiske is a registered Democrat who, based on her Facebook account, supports causes associated with liberals and progressives, such as gun control and halting the killing of dogs for meat in China.

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.)

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