The Mystery of Mr. Policastro’s Dead Fish


Grace Chung, Staff Writer

Every time I walk into Mr. Policastro’s room, I know that it will not be a typical science class. From giving us Burger King prizes to saving me the tape measure I wanted, his class is truly one of a kind. But one thing that makes the actual classroom special is that it features a 55-gallon fish tank on the right wall of the room. Mr. Policastro’s tank is home to many different kinds of fish, including baby tiger barbs. All the fish are specifically chosen to be compatible with one another. But weirdly, the tiny tiger barbs keep dying one by one. 

One morning when Policastro looked at the tank, he noticed that a fish was missing. Out of curiosity, he checked the filter where he found a dead fish inside of it. The fish was so small that it had gotten sucked up by the filter. “Three dollars down the drain… literally,” Policastro joked. He started with seven tiger barbs, and now only five remain. 

His period six class suggested that he should give it a proper funeral to pay respects, as that baby creature has brought the physical science students so much joy despite never having seen it alive. As soon as Policastro told the three students in the class that there was a dead fish on the back table, my friend and I rushed to the back to see it. While we were observing it, we noticed that its head was slightly popped open. Coincidently the fish had orange and black stripes, which made me wonder how cool it would be if our Tenafly mascot was a fish. 

Crushing the dreams of Policastro’s period six, Policastro ended up throwing the fish away in a trash can. Tiger barbs are supposed to live from five to seven years, but this one barely made it for a few weeks. Hopefully, we’ll be able to see the rest of the fish grow up to be the big three inches they can be. This new fish tank is a beautiful addition to the science classroom, so if you’re ever upstairs stop by his room to check out the fish.