High School Teacher Arrested After Allegedly Threatening To Murder Principal

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Jim Miller
Jim Miller

Proving once again that no occupation or level of society is immune from intrigue and bizarre behavior a Port Townsend, Washington high school principal was arrested for Burglary and Harassment for an incident in which he allegedly made threats to kill the school’s principal.

I have to admit that since a case involving two dentists fighting each other in their dental office years ago, not much surprises me. But the type of attitude allegedly demonstrated by this teacher makes me wonder how perplexed the faculty must have felt when it was the students, who are usually the ones to be treated as criminals in today’s zero tolerance schools, were not the culprit and instead it was one of their own–who was arrested for an real violation of the law.


Reports state that teacher Jim Miller could not leave principal Carrie Ehrhardt alone after he was placed on administrative leave in early February after staff became worried about his behavior and dark sarcasm in the classroom. Miller blamed Ehrhardt for protesting and questioning her decision to prevent him from attend to his students. Afterward, he stated he was going to kill her. He should have reflected upon the irony of the situation but instead chose to plan for his next Career Limiting Move.

The first incident took place in February at a local restaurant where a meeting was set-up to discuss the matter between the two. From the onset, Miller became unhinged.

He was agitated with me from the moment he arrived and made that known pretty quickly…His face was red, fist clenched, leaning forward across the table at me, aggressive an and assertive in his behavior…It really caused me to kind of taken a back. It rattled me on the inside, but I was careful not to let it show on the outside. -Carrie Ehrhardt

Miller was informed of Ehrhardt’s decision to place him on administrative leave and attempted to de-escalate the situation. At another table, the school resource officer observed the event. Due to safety concerns, the school banned Miller from entering the high school campus. Allegedly, during the meeting Miller made a threat to kill Ms. Ehrhardt.

Surprisingly, the school resource officer did not arrest Miller for felony harassment. But, he managed to finagle himself into an even better charge later.

Last week at the high school. As Ms. Ehrhardt discussed the matter with the district’s superintendent, she received a phone call that Miller unlawfully entered the school and was ranting in his former classroom. Reports are that his, “language [was] very inappropriate and some statements he [made] to kids about his personal life, there was also a sense of alarm.”

Miller’s agitation caused officials to lockdown the school and telephone police, who had to forcibly remove Miller from the classroom. He was booked on investigation of burglary and harassment. Bail was set at $150,000. Sadly, Pink Floyd wasn’t around to carry the rumble to music:

By Darren Smith

Source KOMO News

The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays or art are solely their decision and responsibility.

22 thoughts on “High School Teacher Arrested After Allegedly Threatening To Murder Principal”

  1. Darren

    Could you see if you can get me unblocked from Turley’s blog.

  2. In days of old a lot of the state mental hospitals were large prisons which called themselves various things suggesting mental health treatment but many lacked things like doctors, or enough, and counselors, and they used shock treatment and over doses of psych drugs on the inmates. The inmates had an indeterminate sentence. When the inmate got well he/she could be discharged. When they got older they got let down to out patient status.

    Mental health reform came along. Hospitals lost their high populations and some closed. Some got real treatment from an array of doctors and counselors. Check out your own state.

  3. Paul,
    While I agree that perhaps he should be treated for a mental health issue, almost no one is any more. Our prison system has taken the place of the mental health institution. When the state and federal hospitals were closed in the 1980s, there were promises of community mental health centers, halfway houses, outpatient clinics. The money never came through and the mentally ill went to the streets and prison system. It’s been the same ever since.

    I’m sure the school resource officer was present for protection purposes, and maybe to witness a threat being made.

    1. Thanks, Paul. That’s what I was wondering.
      We had one instance where an employee was summoned by a supervisor into the conference room by a supervisor.
      Another supervisor and the Human Resource director were also present, so it was a 3-on-1 meeting with no union rep. present.
      I won’t use their real names, but there was an element of humor in this case.
      The supervisor who summoned the employee was yelling “you better back off, and they employee respnded, loudly, “Bullsh**, “Joe”, YOU back off”.
      I wasn’t at the plant, but the conference room was right acossed from the lunch/break room, and parts of the exchange were hard to miss for those within earshot.
      I think ultimately they settled on a verbal warning for the employee, the mildest step of a 4-step disciplinary procedure ( verbal, written warning, displinary layoff without pay, and termination as step
      In this case, things actually turned out OK, because the company probably had enough documentation of unexcused absences to go to step#2, or maybe even #3.
      But there were other cases that had to be”untangled” later where an unrepresented employee could get “railroaded”.

    2. Philly T.-It may well be that the school resource officer was there because of a potential threat.
      It’s just that in my experience, it’s best to have a union representative present once things get to that point.
      That presence eliminates or reduces chances of a “set-up”, or the appearance of a setup.
      Of course, the teacher may have had that option and decided not to have representation.
      Each situation is different, and there are a lot of “unknowns” to me here in this case.

      1. Tom – it is possible the teacher was ambushed by the principal and did not realize he should have his rep there. A meeting at the district or the school would tip him off. A meeting at a neutral spot off campus would be a perfect place to ambush him.

        1. Paul C. Schulte…..your earlier comment about a setup caught my eye.
          Even if all of the allegations against the teacher prove to be true, I agree that they meeting with only the resource officer there as the 3rd party is far from ideal.

  4. Paul C. Schulte…..You mentioned the presence of a “school resourse officer” at the meeting between the principal and the teacher.
    I’m not familiar with the role a school resourse officer generall plays, or is supposed to play.
    I’m very familiar with the role a union representative or shop stewart is supposed to play.
    In these type of “meetings” where a school resource officer is present, is it also desirable or common to have a union rep. present as well?

    1. Tom – the school resource officer is a cop assigned to the school. At this point there probably should have been a union rep and they should have met at the district offices instead of where they met. This was not handled well. If he has union representation, he will also have legal representation. This is not over.

  5. Burglary? The story doesn’t seem to support that charge. Having someone present at a meeting intending to de-escalate sounds like a good idea. Public place – neutral territory and likely to encourage good behavior. I agree with those suggesting that the teacher is having a break down. Perhaps his breakdown was aggravated by the behavior principal, but this is speculation.

    1. bettykath – I think the burglary charge comes from returning to his classroom. He had been banned from the school.

  6. He sounds like he had a mental breakdown. Probably needs Psychiatric help. Scary for students to watch.

  7. “a Port Townsend, Washington high school principal was arrested for Burglary and Harassment for an incident in which he allegedly made threats to kill the school’s principal.”

  8. I had a boss with the last name Miller. Great guy. Always trying to get me to buy a motorcycle for weekend rides.
    Turned out this guy was president of a Hell’s Angels chapter. I declined the offer by stating 4 wheels are better than 2.

  9. (music)

    We don’t need no education!
    We don’t need no thought control!

    All in all its just another bump in the road.

    Is that Pink Floyd?

  10. May be some therapy and a safe zone is in order. I’ll bet he was just turning his life around.

  11. Sounds like a pretty straightforward case of someone going through a breakdown. It happens every day. It’s too bad he didn’t get some help beforehand, it’s usually much harder to put someone back together after they break. Other times, it’s the only way.

    Must be a slow news day.

    1. phillyT – if he was having a breakdown, he falls under the ADA and they should be treating him instead of arresting him.

  12. Moral-Those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones and we all live in homes with some glass. It’s OK to let others know when they have violated laws or regulations or a general notion of propriety, and it’s OK to enforce consequences, but it should be done without arrogance of superiority and with the recognition that all humans are capable of similar behavior given similar conditions, including teachers, principals, dentists, judges, and politicians.

  13. This does sound like a set up. They had a school resource officer at the meeting? That is a set-up. There is clearly more to this story.

  14. Hmmm, this is an interesting story! I just bet the gossip is flying around the teacher’s lounge. And the principal’s name – Carrie! Oh, I can just see buckets of blood and prom queens!

    Carrie-d Away???
    An Irish Poem by Squeeky Fromm

    There once was a teacher named Miller,
    Who sure could have been a bit chill-er!
    But Kotter, he ain’t!
    And hardly a saint,
    Cause his Boss. . . well he threatened to kill ‘er!

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  15. “He was agitated with me from the moment he arrived and made that known pretty quickly…His face was red, fist clenched, leaning forward across the table at me, aggressive an and assertive in his behavior…It really caused me to kind of taken a back. It rattled me on the inside, but I was careful not to let it show on the outside. -Carrie Ehrhardt”

    I don’t know what happened in Port Townsend and the teacher’s behavior certainly seems bizarre and makes the teacher seem unfit to be a teacher at the very least,

    Nevertheless, Ehrhardt’s testimony sounds like an unbelievable rehearsed victimization claim. It is pat, cliched, hits all the tropes.

    Her testimony smells.

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