Teacher Accused Of Wizardry
LAND O' LAKES -- A Florida substitute teacher said his job disappeared after he did a magic trick in front of his students.
Substitute teacher Jim Piculas made a toothpick disappear, then reappear, in front of a classroom at Rushe Middle School in Land O'Lakes.
The Pasco County School District said the trick is just one of the reasons Piculas was let go.
"I get a call the middle of the day from head of supervisor of substitute teachers. He says, 'Jim, we have a huge issue. You can't take any more assignments. You need to come in right away.' I said, 'Well Pat, can you explain this to me?' 'You've been accused of wizardry.' Wizardry?" Piculas said.
Piculas says the parent of a traumatized student complained after he performed the toothpick trick.
The assistant superintendent said Piculas had other issues, such as not following lesson plans and allowing students to play on computers that were not approved.
A letter sent to Picula from the supervisor of substitute teachers informing him that he would not he hired again did not mention the word "wizardry."
Because he is a substitute teacher, the district does not have to have cause for not bringing him back to teach.
Piculas said the trick isn't wizardry, it is just a piece of transparent tape that hides the toothpick behind his thumb.
Piculas attempted to get help from the United School Employees of Pasco, but was told that substitute teachers are not covered under the union contract.
Click to view image: '179921-PICULAS.jpg'
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