I put on my wizard robe and hat….

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. — A Florida substitute teacher says his job disappeared after doing 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, Florida. The Pasco County School District says there were several other performance issues, but none compared to his “wizardry.”

“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,'” Piculas explained.

What century is it again? I forget. Also, does Jim Piculas weigh more than a duck? These things matter.

I really hope this is a joke, or a lie.


  1. Wizardry! NO WAY… lol.

    I bet these people hate David Copperfield.

    • You laugh, but I’ve met people who won’t let their kids read Harry Potter because they might “turn to witchcraft”.

      Crazy people!

  2. I really hope this is a joke, or a lie.

    It really sounds like a lie to me, so I’m going to do that thing where I sympathise with the authority figure again. Another report carries much the same story, but doesn’t include the part about how “none compared to his wizardry”. Both, however, indicate that he had a history of ignoring instructions, failing to supervise students, and generally being a poor substitute teacher. You’ll note that the entire case seems to rest on the word “wizardry”, with no other evidence presented.

    I propose the following scenario. He was found doing a sleight-of-hand trick which clearly wasn’t part of the lesson plan he’d been hired to teach. The trick itself wasn’t the issue, but his apparent decision to be an entertainer instead of a teacher was the final straw after he’d been warned many times that his performance was unacceptable.
    A flustered administrator, not too good with words when stressed, told him off using the term “wizardry” when he or she meant “magic trick”, with the context making it clear that no religious connotation was intended. Conveniently ignoring the many other incidents, the substitute then went to the press and told them he’d been fired because they thought he was a witch.

    Certainly there are people in US school administration who are hyper-sensitive to The Occult and its Pernicious Influence on the Youth. But they’re not as common as bullies who can’t handle being called on their shit.

    • Yep, that’s pretty much a match for my suspicions. The situation is of course also somewhat weighted towards the ex-teacher because he can say whatever he wants to the media, but I strongly suspect that the administration is muzzled by policy and/or legal constraints.