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Fulton County teacher suspended after restraining student who brought loaded gun to school, lawyer says

The district initially fired him after the August 20, 2021 incident.

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — An educator in Fulton County said he's in trouble with the district after he was forced to defend himself from a student that brought a gun to school.

Tri-Cities High School Coach Kenneth Miller said he was with police as they confronted the student, unaware that she had a firearm at the time on August 20, 2021. Miller said as they were speaking with her, she became aggressive and hit him with a stapler. 

Law enforcement body camera video shows the moment when the student became frustrated and attacked the teacher. Miller is seen restraining her until officers step in. 

Miller's lawyer said the student was taken into custody, and Miller was fired. The district eventually reversed its decision, deciding instead to suspend Miller for his actions. 

Months later, the educator said he's still suspended and the district's actions are not enough.

"I don't feel like I did anything wrong," he said in an interview. "I only adhered to what Fulton County School Board Policy says you're allowed to do."

He said anyone in his situation outside of the classroom setting would have likely reacted the same way, adding that he was protecting himself within reason.

"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."

In a statement, Fulton County Schools said this:

"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 deescalate 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."

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