Steve Gulash, a behavior technician in the Manatee County School District who was involved in a number of scandals at Manatee High School over the past five years, is set to be fired from the district on Tuesday, according to the board agenda.
“It’s just part of the game,” Gulash said when reached Wednesday. Gulash said he didn’t know the termination was on the agenda until reached by a Bradenton Herald reporter. Gulash said he’s been working with Manatee Education Association union president Par Barber because the termination is “absurd.”
As a behavior technician, Gulash travels to various campuses working with students and teachers. He said there have been a number of incidents this year where employees have said they don’t want him at their schools, either telling him directly or reporting it to his superiors.
That, along with stress and anxiety from previous incidents, have led Gulash to get sick, he said. He’s been working with a doctor to manage the stress and the doctor told him he could not return to work until the situation was sorted out.
Gulash said he is being fired for not showing up to work. Gulash said he is trying to work the situation out with the union and the district because he has documentation from the doctor about not working.
A request to the school district for the letter sent to Gulash about his termination was not immediately filled Wednesday.
Gulash was a parent liaison at Manatee High School during the Roderick Frazier scandal and was a witness in the case. Frazier, a former parent liaison, pleaded no contest to four misdemeanor counts of battery and two counts of interfering with school attendance. As part of the plea deal worked out between the defense and the State Attorney’s Office, prosecutors dropped four battery charges.
Gulash was suspended without pay for 10 days by the district in July 2014 for violating district policy by lying to district officials during the Frazier investigation.
The parent liaison positions were disbanded soon after and Gulash moved into his new role.
Gulash has filed a lawsuit against the district under the Title IX Education Amendments of 1972 against the school board, claiming retaliation.