Tampa: No Wizards Allowed

Posted: May 6, 2008 in Atheism, Education, News, Religion
Tags: , , , , ,

Wizardry. As defined by a dictionary; “the art, skill, or accomplishments of a wizard”. So to practice wizardry, you really have to be a Wizard. Mildly interesting but not at all surprising. What is surprising how incredibly backward, ignorant and generally daft the administrators of a Pasco County (that’s in Florida) school appear to be. They’ve kicked out a substitute teacher on the grounds that he practiced ‘wizardry’.

So what was this horrible occult wizardry the substitute, Jim Piculas, performed which irreveribly corrupted the minds and souls of his students?

He made a toothpick disapear and reappear.

Yep. That’s it. Good thing Penn & Teller aren’t teachers, they certainly wouldn’t find work in Pasco County.

Magic trick costs teacher job

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.

I work in the education industry and have done so at various levels. I have used little magic tricks and acts of sleight of hand to gain the attention of students; it is a very useful and very effective tactic. Is the power of Satan, Cerebrus, Belzebub, Surtur or any other supposed originator of evil or ill intent called upon to do such? Of course bloody not.

And you know what? It would not matter one jot if Piculas was a full fledged Wizard who cast powerful spells as long as he did he job as an educational professional. But then, this is the same state that thinks Creationism makes sense and passes such rampant idiocy at the ‘Academic Freedom Bill’ so it’s not exactly surprising. Now they believe in wizards. Great. And people wonder why the rest of the world often laughs at America?

Feel free to let these particular idiots how you feel on this issue.

  1. ozatheist says:

    good grief, just when you think it can’t get any worse!

    Do you ever worry about a country that has a Dark Ages mentality with Modern Era weapons?

  2. The Integral says:

    I’m a Christian, but this kind of crap firing of a teacher on such idiotic grounds is AGAINST MY RELIGION!

    I feel for the children at this school, and for Mr. Piculas.

    Thank goodness I am leaving Florida on Sunday! I can’t wait to get the hell out of here.

    ozatheist: YES, I DO! I worry PLENTY about that………

  3. Jolly Roger says:

    I am not surprised at this in the good old USA. Things will get worse if Hillary or Barack become president, and we return to the days of the old Soviet Union! All I hope is that they do not decide to ban Ravioli in schools, as I make a living as a magician out of this product. I think this action is RIDICULOUS!!! JR

  4. Matt says:

    I think it’d actually be a lot worse if McCain of the republican party got in. The republicans seem to be very backwards indeed when it comes to both educational (*cough*nochildleftbehind*cough*) and religious policies/matters.

  5. Uncle Fester says:

    Since when has a Wizard not helped the causes of humanity with a simple effect or a few wise words.

    Then again if Merlin was around today ,
    Theyed proably shoot the messanger just the same.

    So much for tolerance.

    Then again isn’t it true how people seem to always fear what they don’t understand.

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