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Daily Talker: Newton Superintendent Fined After Plagiarism Allegations

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The school committee in Newton has fined Superintendent David Fleishman one week’s salary because of allegations of plagiarism.

The committee said that during a graduation speech given at Newton South High School last month, five sentences Fleishman used were very similar to ones used by Governor Patrick in a graduation speech he gave at Boston University in May, and Fleishman did not cite the Governor’s speech.

“However, given the level of personal engagement that good citizenship demands, I have been wondering whether this kind of citizenship is in jeopardy,” Gov. Patrick said in his address. In Fleishman’s speech, he said, “However, I worry that this level of face-to-face conversation, which is necessary for good citizenship, is in jeopardy.”

In another example, Patrick said, “Social media, as we have seen, can start a revolution. But can it bring peace?” Fleishman’s comments were, “We saw social media lead to revolutions in the Middle East, but did it bring peace?”

The similarities were first reported by the Newton South High School Paper by a student who attended both ceremonies.

Fleishman will lose about $4,900 dollars. Is that enough of a punishment, and does it send a strong enough message to students about plagiarism? Share your comments below, and watch for them on WBZ News in the Morning from 4:30 to 7:00 a.m.

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