Tuesday, May 6, 2008
FLORIDA CONTINUES ITS REIGN AS THE MOST BACKWARDS STATE IN THE UNION
By: Janie Porter
Land 'O Lakes, Florida -- The stories in the news about inappropriate relationships between teachers and students have been overwhelming. There was even a substitute teacher in New Port Richey who got in trouble after investigators say she had a relationship with an underage student.
Well, another Pasco County substitute teacher's job is on the line, but this time it's because of a magic trick.
The charge from the school district — Wizardry!
Substitute teacher Jim Piculas does a 30-second magic trick where a toothpick disappears then reappears.
But after performing it in front of a classroom at Rushe Middle School in Land 'O Lakes, Piculas said his job did a disappearing act of its own.
"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,'" he said.
When Piculas went in, he learned his little magic trick cast a spell and went much farther than he'd hoped.
"I said, 'Well Pat, can you explain this to me?' 'You've been accused of wizardry,' [he said]. Wizardry?" he asked.
Tampa Bay's 10 talked to the assistant superintendent with the Pasco County School District who said it wasn't just the wizardry and that Picular had other performance issues, including "not following lesson plans" and allowing students to play on unapproved computers."
Piculas said he knew nothing about the accusations.
"That... I think was embellished after the fact to try to cover what initially what they were saying to me," he said.
After the magic trick, Rushe's principal requested Piculas be dismissed. Now, Piculas believes the incident may have bewitched his ability to get a job anywhere else.
"I still have no idea what my discipline involves because I've never received anything from the school district actually saying what it entails," said Piculas.
As a substitute teacher, the Pasco County School District considers Piculas to be an "at will employee." That means the district doesn't need to have cause for not bringing him back at all.
Janie Porter, Tampa Bay's 10 News
WATCH VIDEO OF THE ACTUAL WIZARDRY !!!
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