Yellowstone County, Mont., schools superintendent Max Lenington plagiarized a column by Mychal Massie in an Aug. 25 letter to the editor, Massie tells Eddie Gregg of the Billings Gazette.
Lenington’s letter, titled “Why I hate Barack and Michelle Obama,” bears strong similarities to a Jan. 5, 2013, column by Massie called “Why I Do Not Like The Obamas.” The Cowgirl Blog runs down some of the…coincidences.
Lenington asked, and Massie granted, permission to quote from the original piece, Massie tells Gregg. “My concern is that he has plagiarized word for word nearly all of my piece,” Massie says. “This is so very unacceptable.”
The Casper Star-Tribune also ran Lenington’s editor, on Aug. 21. Gregg says Lenington used his government email account to send his letter to the Tribune, and complained that other newspapers had not agreed to run it.
The newspapers’ refusal to publish his letter proved “the point I had made in both editorials as to the death of journalism,” Lenington said.
Recently in school-official-related plagiarism, a Boston middle-school principal resigned after The Boston Globe discovered plagiarism in her job application (which followed an incident where she plagiarized portions of a letter to staff). And a member of the Northern Humboldt Union High School District Board of Trustees in Arcata, Calif., apologized after swiping parts of a commencement address he gave.