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My word! Principal plagiarizes in speech, resigns

  • Colorado principal admits to plagiarizing parts of Sheryl Sandberg book 'Lean In' during his speech to graduates
  • He wasn't fired, but decided to resign, according to the district's superintendent, who spoke to a local paper
My word! Principal plagiarizes in speech, resigns

Video: Boy genius, 10, graduates high school

Video: Boy genius, 10, graduates high school

A Colorado principal has resigned after admitting that he plagiarized a best-selling book during parts of his speech to a class of 2014 graduates, according to the Longmont Times-Call.

The school district's superintendent, Don Haddad, told the Times-Call that it was a member of the public who alerted officials to the fact that the principal lifted more than half of his speech from "Lean In," the 2013 book written by Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer for Facebook.

HLN reached out to the St. Vrain Valley School District and left messages, but has yet to hear back.

"It was Troy [Snyder]'s decision to resign," Haddad told the Times-Call, explaining that the principal wasn't fired over the speech, which he delivered during Mead High School's graduation ceremony on May 24.

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Haley Abbott, who was a freshman last fall, read part of the school's student handbook to CNN affiliate KDVR.

"Submitting another individual's work as your own is academic dishonesty," she quoted. She went on to say that students have to read, memorize and write a report on the handbook. "Everybody's, like, why would you tell us not to do that if you do that yourself?" she asked.

“He’s an educator. He's supposed to be somebody that our children look up to," the student's father, James Abbott, told KDVR. But he said he was happy that Snyder was "man enough to resign."

Haddad told the Times-Call that he only had well wishes for Snyder: "Troy's a good man and I appreciate the many good things he did at Mead High School."

Read more: 26 of the best graduation speeches ever!

Another high school principal has also admitted this year to lifting parts of his graduation speech from another source. Matt Sanger from Garden Spot High School in New Holland, Pennsylvania, told Lancaster Online that he was inspired by David Foster Wallace's "This is Water" commencement address to Kenyon College in 2005.

"The inspiration came from his speech. I found it to be very moving and inspirational," he said during an interview with the site over the weekend.

Sanger said his high school also gives warnings to students about using another author's work without attribution.

"Looking back on it, in hindsight, I should have probably cited [Wallace] in my speech," Sanger said.

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