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Principal Whose Words Echoed Kutcher's: 'I Made a Mistake'

West Virginia's Kenny DeMoss has been suspended for 5 days, without pay
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 12, 2019 7:55 AM CDT

(Newser) – A West Virginia principal accused of plagiarizing Ashton Kutcher in an address to his school's graduating class has been suspended without pay for five days, the AP reports. The News and Sentinel reports Parkersburg High School's Kenny DeMoss was suspended Tuesday at a Wood County Board of Education meeting. DeMoss apologized for heavily basing his May address on Kutcher's 2013 Teen Choice Awards speech, saying he should've cited his sources, but that the ideas were his own. A Facebook video highlighting the plagiarism spliced the speeches together. DeMoss said the video excluded a disclaimer that multiple sources informed his speech.

Before the board's 4-1 vote, DeMoss read from a prepared statement. "I made a mistake. I have brought a negative focus upon us and I deeply apologize," he said. "I hope that those disappointed in me will forgive me. Through this, I have learned valuable lessons and it is on me to earn your respect moving forward." Kutcher also weighed in, tweeting Saturday that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and citing Oscar Wilde for the quote. He then quipped that "kids and faculty" should cite their sources.

(Read more Ashton Kutcher stories.)

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