TORONTO - Canada's largest school board says it will discuss whether to discipline its director of education after he admitted to plagiarizing parts of an opinion piece published in a major Toronto newspaper.
Toronto District School Board chair Chris Bolton says there has been "some discussion" among trustees over Chris Spence's admission, but the matter hasn't been formally debated.
Spence posted a letter on the board's website this morning saying that as an educator, he "should know better" than to cite other people's work without attribution — something he says happened five times in the op-ed he penned for the Toronto Star.
In the letter, he pledges to take "real and meaningful steps" to learn from and make up for his misbehaviour, including taking a journalism ethics class and ensuring his apology is permanently displayed.
Spence notes students found to have plagiarized automatically receive a failing grade on the assignment — a minimum penalty he says isn't nearly strict enough in his case.
The article ran on Jan. 5 and focused on the importance of extracurricular activities, which have been cancelled in many schools due to the ongoing labour strife between teachers and the province.