Incident giving rise to investigation filmed

BANQUETE, Texas — Last month, longtime Banquete ISD baseball coach Russell “Rusty” Miller was placed on administrative leave after an incident at the Banquete Independent School District athletic field.

As KRIS 6 News first reported in April, allegations were made that Miller confronted a student after a baseball game on April 9.

Students and parents rallied behind Miller, saying the allegations were false.

On Thursday, KRIS 6 News obtained video of the April 9 incident from an anonymous source.

KRIS 6 News contacted the district to verify the authenticity of this video and received a copy in response to a public information request filed earlier this month.

The 45-second video, in which the students’ faces are blurred, shows Coach Miller escorting two female students off the playing field and closing the door before slamming a table and lunging at one of his baseball players who is sitting at a table with his teammates.

Miller then holds four fingers in front of the player’s face, lowers his hand and appears to shout at the young man while they are face to face.

KRIS 6 EXCLUSIVE: Video published of the ISD banquet coach facing a student

Miller then points to the door and as the teen stands up, Miller places both hands on the teen and prevents him from getting up from his chair. He continues to yell at the player before backing away and yelling at the rest of the team. The incident ends with Coach Miller slamming the table twice while the players remain motionless. Miller then knocks over a stool.

On Monday, the Robstown Independent School District Board of Trustees hired Miller as its new head baseball coach.

KRIS 6 sat down with Banquete ISD District Superintendent Stacy Johnson on Thursday to ask her about this video.

She said Miller was still under contract with the district and remained on administrative leave. Johnson said he would not return to Banquete ISD

She confirmed the video was recorded on April 9.

“I think the video speaks for itself. This is obviously unprofessional conduct that is a clear violation of our policy and the educator code of ethics,” Johnson said.

Johnson also said the Banquete school board and district attorney have seen the original video which lasts about 35 to 40 minutes.

“We immediately issued disciplinary action in accordance with local policy. He was placed on administrative leave…He is currently on administrative leave until the end of his contract and will not return to Banquete ISD,” Johnson said .

“The district will continue to follow the policy and ensure that our students have a productive, safe, healthy and happy environment when they can learn,” she added.

KRIS 6 News contacted Miller who said he would not comment on the video under the advice of his attorney.

KRIS 6 News contacted Robstown ISD Superintendent Dr. Marc Puig who said the district thoroughly investigated this matter and put it behind them.

“We are delighted to have Mr. Miller join our team and indeed we have watched and studied the video very carefully,” Puig said.

“We are aware, you know, of some questions and concerns that parents may have had or may have, but in Robstown ISD, I want to be very clear. We are a district that is going to grant grace and offer second chances where appropriate. “, added Puig.

Puig said the district will welcome Miller and make sure he understands the district’s expectations for professionalism and what it means to serve the children of Robstown ISD.

Half an hour after his interview with KRIS 6, Puig released the following statement:

In short, we thoroughly investigated the matter involving Coach Rusty Miller, particularly the context of the video, and we have now put it behind us. Our Robstown ISD approach is rooted in extending grace and providing second chances when appropriate. And it’s important to note that our investigation found that no reports were filed with the Texas Education Agency, as required by law if a student was endangered by an educator, or with Protective Services of childhood, and that no criminal charges have been filed.

Looking ahead, we are absolutely excited to have Coach Miller join our team. He has a contagious passion for working with children, brings a wealth of coaching experience and communicates a championship-caliber approach. Indeed, we graciously welcome Coach Miller to our Cotton Picker family and stand ready to help him begin a new chapter in our storied baseball program.