Education

Former duPont Manual High School Journalism and Communications Department Chair James Miller was indicted on four counts of promoting or possessing child sex abuse material last week. 

Court records show Miller was indicted on May 25 with two counts of promoting a sex performance by a minor under 16 years of age and two counts of possessing matter portraying sex performance by a minor. He was arrested in Mississippi a day later. Court records show Miller was released on bond Tuesday. 

A spokesperson for the Jefferson County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office told WFPL News two videos were found on Miller’s phone “where he was filming a minor undressing.” 

“No public school children were involved,” spokesperson Erwin Roberts said. 

In an email, Manual Principal Michael Newman said authorities say none of the allegations involve the school’s students or staff. He said counselors are available to students, who can schedule appointments by calling (502) 485-8241.

Miller resigned from his position at Manual on April 1, according to Jefferson County Board of Education documents obtained by WFPL. 

Students in the Manual journalism program reached by WFPL did not want to be identified by name, but expressed shock and confusion over the allegations.

Miller was the faculty advisor for the Manual Red Eye, the school’s award-winning student newspaper. The Red Eye made waves in 2020 when students reported that training slideshows for the Kentucky State Police used until 2013 contained references to Adolf Hitler and encouraged a violent mentality among trainees.

In addition to his role at Manual, Miller worked as a freelance writer. He wrote commentaries for a number of local outlets, including for the now-defunct Insider Louisville and, in 2013, WFPL. He was never employed by Louisville Public Media, which WFPL is part of.

Miller did not appear at his scheduled arraignment Tuesday morning. At the time, his attorneys said he was in Mississippi. Circuit Court Judge Charlie Cunningham Jr., who’s presiding over the case, said Miller must be arraigned within 13 days. 

Cunningham issued an order last week prohibiting Miller from any form of contact with the victim, who is identified only by initials in court documents, and any member of the victim’s family.

Note: To report child abuse and neglect, contact Kentucky’s Child Protection Branch toll-free at (877) 597-2331 or (800) 752-6200, or online. If you or a loved one has experienced sexual assault or harassment, contact the confidential National Sexual Assault Hotline at (800) 656-4673 to be connected to a provider in your area.  

This story has been updated with information about James Miller’s arrest in Mississippi and his release from custody Tuesday. 

Jess Clark is WFPL's Education and Learning Reporter.
Yasmine Jumaa is WFPL’s race and equity reporter.