Principal plagiarizes graduation message

Published On: Jun 19 2014 06:49:28 AM HST
Updated On: Jun 20 2014 04:35:59 AM HST
Graduates, graduation

iStock / LawrenceSawyer

A high school principal allegedly plagiarized his message to the graduating class, which was printed in the school's yearbook.

News 12 Long Island reports that Dr. Steven Strachan, the principal at Roosevelt High School in New York, told the graduating seniors how proud he is of them and that they are a class of "great leaders, articulate orators, brilliant scientists, breathtaking athletes and extraordinary artists." Those and almost all the other words in the message were actually written by California principal Dr. Ted Barone and presented to Albany High School graduates in 2013.

The glaring error that busted Strachan was the last line of the message, which read, "Congratulations to the Albany High School Class of 2013."

Dr. Strachan claimed that he received permission from Barone to reuse or repurpose the remarks, but Barone told News 12 Long Island that Strachan emailed him recently asking only for permission to quote him. Barone complied, not realizing that Strachan was going to "quote" the entire message.

Newsday reports that Strachan released a statement through public relations firm, Zimmerman/Edelson saying:

"I sincerely apologize to the Roosevelt community and to the class of 2014 for the inadvertent clerical error causing mistakes to be printed in the 2014 yearbook. An unedited draft of my remarks was accidentally published rather than the final version, and I take full responsibility for the oversight."

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