Teacher who revealed details about Trump aide’s childhood returns to classroom

The third-grade persona of Trump senior advisor Stephen Miller was the subject of recent disclosures by his third-grade teacher.
(Shawn Thew / EPA/Shutterstock)

A veteran teacher who was pulled from the classroom after she described the childhood oddities of Trump aide Stephen Miller has returned to her classroom at Franklin Elementary in Santa Monica.

Nikki Fiske, 72, had been placed on “home assignment” while school district officials determined whether she had violated rules against disclosing information about students.

Much has been said and written about how a liberal enclave could produce someone like Miller, 33, who is substantially credited with (and blamed for) some of President Trump’s most hard-line policies.


Fiske’s recollections, published in the Hollywood Reporter, centered on her memory of him as a third-grader in her class. She recalled a messy child who would spread glue on his arm, pull off the dried strips and eat them.

The brief article was presented as Fiske’s account “as told to Benjamin Svetkey,” who is a senior editor at the publication.

Fiske’s 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’s behavior in this way, even though Miller is no longer a child.

But others defended her, and she has a following as an educator.

“She has taught two of my children and is a wonderful teacher,” wrote Marc Abraham in an email. “Smart, talented, loaded with patience, who cares deeply about her kids and takes that responsibility so seriously.… We need dedicated men and women like her more than ever.”

Fiske has avoided the media spotlight since the article was posted.

Santa Monica school officials won’t say whether Fiske was disciplined. Lesser forms of discipline could include a warning or a letter in a personnel file — or her short time away could be recorded as a paid suspension.

Whatever the case, she gets to keep her job, according to the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District.

“We have conducted a thoughtful review and we have addressed the matter with the teacher,” said spokeswoman Gail Pinsker.

Twitter: @howardblume