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Is it Okay for a Principal to plagairise?

By wazza_t - 4 December 2014 33

I come from the old school way of thinking which is, if it isn’t your work and thoughts then don’t try and pass them off as if they were. I also think if you are the principal of a high school then you should set the example and not plagiarise to your students.

My daughter came in the other day laughing about how a Canberra school principal was recently caught by his students plagiarising his annual reports in the year book. She found it particularly amusing because her older sister briefly attended the school. We own a hardcopy of one of the yearbooks and could verify that the principal’s message was plagiarised.

Whereas my youngest daughter thought the whole thing was a joke my eldest who is a hardworking and dedicated student was very upset. “It’s wrong and really unfair,” she told me and said she felt as if she had been wasting her time researching, organising and writing when she could have just handed in “wiki-sandwiches”. A wiki sandwich is where a student writes the introduction and conclusion and copies the rest from a website like Wikipedia. This best describes the plagiarism in these reports. One of the three reports looks to be almost 90% copy and paste. I can tell my daughter has taken it to heart and become, for the first time in her life, jaded.

When I pack my kids off to school I tell them that the teacher is probably right and that rules are rules and they are there for everyone. I know most parents don’t scrutinize every page of our kid’s yearbooks and newsletters but some of our kids do and it’s a sad thing to think they would open it up and find out their parents are shmucks and their headmaster is unaccountable and doesn’t give a toss.

I urge parents to pull out their kid’s old yearbooks and read them, type some key phrases into Google and find out if the principal of your child’s school dabbles in deceit and duplicity. You can report it here or here. My view is that a school principal sets the example and should be modelling academic excellence and personal integrity to his or her school community. Plagiarism is central to these virtues and to be fair if schools can flunk students for plagiarising then perhaps we need to flunk and flush a few principals who do the same.

What’s Your opinion?


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33 Responses to
Is it Okay for a Principal to plagairise?
Maya123 9:50 am 07 Dec 14

Lenient said :

A principal is an administrator not an academic.

Exactly.

Lenient 8:51 am 07 Dec 14

A principal is an administrator not an academic.

mr_pink 8:32 pm 06 Dec 14

Lenient said :

Is it Okay for a Principal to plagairise?

No. However the alleged actions are not plagarism. Previous yearbooks are fair game for re-use. A principal does not claim a yearbook is their own work, it is the fruit of many people (including those that helped assemble those of years past). Unlike a student’s submitted work, the yearbook is not there to assess whether a principal has succesfully learnt the skills of writing yearbooks.

This justified, allowed and licit use of raw materials is fair and efficient, allowing more time for the principal to do the work of running the school.

I urge parents to pull out their kid’s old yearbooks and read them, type some key phrases into Google and find out if the principal of your child’s school dabbles in efficient yearbook drafting.

OP is talking about the principal’s annual address to the students in the yearbook. These sections are usually five or six paras long and discuss the year in hindsight. Some do the lighter side, some big-note themselves and the stuffier ones pontificate their dreary wisdoms. OP writes that 90% of this guy’s stuff was cut and paste from the internet. If the “alleged” plagiarism is proved then he has behaved fraudulently. Plagiarism is arguably the most serious offense in academia. It’s grubby behaviour. Deans and academics get sacked for this, more often than you see in the paper.

But anyway, if this principal does plagiarise annually to his own students, what does it say about him as a “lead educator”, his “quality teaching”, and his “integrity underpinned by moral purpose” hmm… efficient or effluent?

Lenient 2:46 pm 06 Dec 14

Is it Okay for a Principal to plagairise?

No. However the alleged actions are not plagarism. Previous yearbooks are fair game for re-use. A principal does not claim a yearbook is their own work, it is the fruit of many people (including those that helped assemble those of years past). Unlike a student’s submitted work, the yearbook is not there to assess whether a principal has succesfully learnt the skills of writing yearbooks.

This justified, allowed and licit use of raw materials is fair and efficient, allowing more time for the principal to do the work of running the school.

I urge parents to pull out their kid’s old yearbooks and read them, type some key phrases into Google and find out if the principal of your child’s school dabbles in efficient yearbook drafting.

MERC600 1:47 pm 06 Dec 14

John Moulis said :

Midge_Ures_SixLegged_LoveChild said :

I hope this bloke isn’t still a principal and I’m not sure why someone would boast about plagiarizing – John?

I have to use the kid’s defence here – “But everybody was doing it!” 🙂

But hasn’t this been going on for yonks? Before computers there were specialist books available for writing this and that.
I seem to remember my old boss, who was also a JP, would be asked at time for references. And if he reckoned OK, he would whip out a little book full of relevant praises; alter a few things, get it typed off and bung it off. So now in the 21st century we use a computer. Same old..

John Moulis 5:27 pm 05 Dec 14

Midge_Ures_SixLegged_LoveChild said :

I hope this bloke isn’t still a principal and I’m not sure why someone would boast about plagiarizing – John?

I have to use the kid’s defence here – “But everybody was doing it!” 🙂

Midge_Ures_SixLegged 10:36 am 05 Dec 14

I hope this bloke isn’t still a principal and I’m not sure why someone would boast about plagiarizing – John?

Postalgeek 9:18 am 05 Dec 14

“Is it Okay for a Principal to plagairise [sic]?”

It’s always ok to plagiarise a dictionary 🙂

mr_pink 9:58 pm 04 Dec 14

“Is it ok for a principal to plagiarise (in the school yearbook)?”
Computer says “no”.

According to the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers –

1.Vision and values
Principals lead the development of the vision of the school. They are committed to the learning and growth of young people and adults guided by fairness, ethical practice, democratic values and lifelong learning. Principals understand, lead, mediate and serve the best interests of the community.

Principals model “learning for life” through their own professional practice and promote it actively in their interaction with students, staff, families and carers and the wider community.

Principals behave with integrity underpinned by moral purpose. They model values and ethical perspectives in relation to their own and the school’s practice and organisation.

According to ACT Teacher’s Code of Professional Standards –

1.1.2 Demonstrate high standards of professional practice
1.1.5 Exercise leadership in their role as supervisors
2.1.1 Advance student learning and the public interest
Principal 3: Accountability
PRINCIPLE 4: Fairness and Integrity
4.1.1 Act with probity in their daily work activities and decision-making

If the principal is an ACT Government employee then according to the Education and Training Diretorate (Teaching Staff) Enterprise Agreement –

H3.5 For purposes of this section, misconduct consists of any of the following:
(b) the employee engages in conduct that has, or is likely to, bring the Directorate or ACTPS into disrepute;

turbotim 9:50 pm 04 Dec 14

The dude shoulda gone to MyMaster.

John Moulis 8:04 pm 04 Dec 14

Technology might have changed but other things remain the same. Nowadays kids cut and paste from Wikipedia, when I was at high school in the early 1970s I copied an article on radiation by hand from Encyclopedia Brittanica – word for word – for a science project, and I scored a mark of 9.5 out of 10. Articles in Brittanica were uncredited but I’ve since read that many of their science features were written by Albert Einstein.

Kelly74 3:55 pm 04 Dec 14

bd84 said :

Do you know whether there is a template given to schools to use to write those blurbs as standard

Not having a template is no excuse to plagiarise. A principal should know better too. Ick!

VYBerlinaV8_is_back 3:15 pm 04 Dec 14

Sounds like a great opportunity to start educating your kids about the differences between academia and real life.

bd84 1:10 pm 04 Dec 14

all that rant but you don’t clearly state where he supposedly plagiarised from..
Perhaps you could teach your kids about natural justice.. Do you know whether there is a template given to schools to use to write those blurbs as standard, or if he wrote it himself and someone else copied, or was given permission to use it?

RiotFrog 11:38 am 04 Dec 14

The case of the unprincipled principal.

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