MIRAMAR, Fla. – All but one school board member voted to fire Everglades High School teacher Curtis Wiles at a hearing Wednesday in Miramar. School officials said the 40-year-old math teacher was found drunk and passed out in his first period classroom while a class was in session in January.
Flanked by his attorney and his parents, Wiles pleaded with the board for a second chance.
"He has an alcohol problem he has been fighting. He has been fighting it for years. He is now enrolled in a very rigorous, very intensive program," said C. Michael Cornely, Wile’s attorney.
Cornely argued unsuccessfully that Wiles should be suspended rather than fired.
"If he has to serve a suspension fine but to terminate him, to cut off his head, to say this is over for his career after 12 years?"
Wiles didn't want to talk to Local 10 on camera, but his attorney takes issue with the evidence from the investigation such as alcohol found in his classroom.
"It was a vodka bottle. It wasn't empty, but it was a bottle of vodka he had brought in from his car," Cornely said.
He also disputes reports he was four times the legal limit after taking a breathalyzer test.
"What is the machine that was used? If that machine is correct, and it was 0.35, he ought to be dead."
At Everglades High School, both parents and students were shocked over the incident.
"It is sad because they are here to teach kids. That is not a good example. You are over here telling them no drugs and alcohol but then you are teaching a class under the influence. That doesn't make any sense to me," said Ruth Rosa whose child goes to Everglades High.