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Teacher arrested showing bomb tips, police say

/ Source: The Associated Press

A high school chemistry teacher was arrested after students claimed he taught his class how to make a bomb, authorities said.

David Pieski, 42, used an overhead projector in class to give instructions in making explosives to students at Freedom High School, including advising them to use an electric detonator to stay clear from the blast, an Orange County sheriff’s arrest report said.

In Pieski’s classroom in Orlando, authorities found a book labeled “Demo,” which includes the chemical breakdown for a powerful explosive, the arrest report said.

One student said he set off an explosive device at a golf course on Jan. 6 and videotaped it, an arrest warrant said. The videotape shows an explosion, and the voice of a young man can be heard shouting, authorities said.

Pieski was charged with possessing or discharging a destructive device and culpable negligence. Pieski, who was booked into the Orange County Jail on Monday and released on $1,000 bail, declined to comment.

School Superintendent Judy Cunningham said Pieski was reassigned to a desk job after he was interviewed by authorities. He is still earning his salary.

Pieski told investigators he detonated chemicals in a coffee can by a ball field four times for his students, the sheriff’s office said. He said he did this as a chemistry project to show a reaction rate, the arrest report said.

“Pieski admitted to me that he observed (the student’s) video and approved of his successful results,” the arresting officer said in the warrant. “Pieski disagreed with the project being an explosion.”

Pieski guided investigators to an unlocked metal cabinet in the back of a classroom, where there was “a can of black powder stored next to other chemicals,” the sheriff’s office said.

School officials told investigators that Pieski previously had been told he was not allowed to have any form of explosive on campus.