Shortly after the posting, Principal Jamille Miller-Brown (pictured on phone) brought Keandre Varner (pictured right) into her office Monday. She then gave him a four-day suspension, telling the Daily News, “There was a violation of privacy.”
A spokesman for Riverdale High School denied that Varner was suspended for posting the picture. He claimed Varner was suspended for acting “belligerent” towards Miller by publishing the picture through a school computer and disrupting the school.
However, Varner’s mother believes her son was suspended for misinterpreting the mugshot’s origin. “Keandre passed around misinformation,” she told WSBTV.
When a someone asked Keandre why his principal was arrested, Varner responded, “I think because of a DUI.” According to Miller-Brown, the arrest was actually for failure to show up in court for a speeding ticket. Varner recounted their tense conversation:
“And she was like, ‘You said I got arrested for DUI.’ And I was like, ‘I think you got arrested for DUI,'” he claimed.
Varner also said Miller-Brown threatened him with arrest, a charge she denies. He says he didn’t mean her harm in releasing the picture. “I didn’t like, really didn’t intend to defame her character,” he said. “I put it right on Instagram and that was it.”
After Varner’s family complained that four days would cost him finals prep, Miller-Brown decided to truncate the punishment.
“When a student becomes belligerent and disrespectful, we’re all human beings and our knee-jerk reaction is to throw a book at him,” said spokesperson David Waller. “But after having time to think about her decision, she decided that two days would be sufficient.”