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SLO High teacher pleads not guilty to 'postal' threat charges 

A veteran San Luis Obispo High School math instructor is in county jail on a $1 million bond after allegedly sending threatening e-mails to SLO Teachers Association staff, including one in which he mentioned “going postal.”

Brian Miller, a teacher for 27 years with the district, has been out of the classroom on paid voluntary medical leave since the beginning of the school year, according to district Director of Personnel Ryan Pinkerton.

Miller, 56, was arrested March 29 after showing up unannounced at Pacific Beach High School, a continuation school in San Luis Obispo, and inquiring about what classes he would be teaching the next year.

According to a police report of the incident, Principal Greg Halfman asked Miller to leave and an argument ensued in the office lobby, during which Halfman reportedly had to tell several students to leave out of concern their safety.

After an officer showed up, Miller was eventually arrested for disturbing a school campus. It was later discovered that Miller had allegedly sent at least one threatening e-mail to his union representative.

“Guys don’t snap one day and decide to shoot up their workplace instead of a convenience store,” Miller said in the e-mail obtained by New Times. “Guys snap and shoot up the office because for eight years, they got treated like shit, and when they asked for help were ridiculed. Then, they don’t give a shit at some point.”

Miller’s attorney, Ken Cirisan, said the e-mail was hyperbolic in nature and not meant to be taken as a threat. He added that Miller has been out on voluntary leave after the death of his wife, and that a police search of the home didn’t turn up any weapons.

Miller was charged with two felony counts of threatening a school employee and one misdemeanor count of disrupting school. He pleaded not guilty to all charges at his April 2 arraignment and is due back in court on April 17 for a potential bail-reduction hearing and a report from his court-appointed psychiatric doctor.

 

This article was updated from an initial post at 1 p.m. to reflect Miller's charges and plea.

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