Teacher on leave returns to JeffCo classroom after threatening to kill administrator

A Port Townsend High School teacher placed on leave in February after a mental health incident at school was arrested Friday after returning to his former classroom during fourth period and startled his former students.

The teacher, 52, was booked into the Jefferson County Jail for investigation of second-degree burglary and felony harassment, according to a statement from the Port Townsend Police Department.

The unauthorized visit to the school followed a contentious meeting with administrators at a local restaurant, where the teacher allegedly threatened to kill a school administrator.

Hours after the meeting the teacher went to the school. He had a folding knife on his personal, but did not threaten anyone with it and placed it on a desk when confronted by police.

Students were escorted out of the classroom during the incident and were offered counseling and encouraged to call their parents, according to a statement from the school. Counselors may be available next week as well.

“No staff or students were injured, though some reported they were alarmed by Miller’s behavior and swearing,” the statement said. In the classroom, with students and the substitute teacher present, the teacher “began removing personal items from the wall, appeared to be talking on his cellular phone, described personal details of his life to students and started asking the teenagers if anyone had been talking about him since he was placed on leave.”

Police had previously been called to the teacher’s classroom, on Feb. 4, when he was reported to be suffering from a mental health condition. He was removed from campus, put in contact with mental health treatment resources and informed he was prohibited from returning to campus.

At the meeting the preceding Friday’s incident, a plain clothes police officer was seated in another part of the restaurant to “keep the peace” and was told of the threat against the administrator after the teacher had left.

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