Chris Spence, a former Director of Toronto District School Board, was dismissed soon after plentiful instances of plagiarism found in his works. The discipline hearing was appointed at Ontario College of Teachers, yet Mr. Spence had several lame excuses, and absolutely no desire to come to such a meeting. That could be simply explained by hiding what was obvious, and what the Director was afraid about to be revealed.
When the hearing started, there was no representative on the part of the accused, and the prosecutor Caroline Zayid furnished with proofs of numerous examples of plagiarism that Chris Spence provided in his works, lifting the material from TDSB blogs and TEDX speeches word for word. So, she asked to find Mr. Spence guilty, commenting: “He was cloaking himself in the credibility of the teaching profession. It is dishonest. He’s stealing other people’s work and it’s exactly the opposite of the values the teaching profession promotes”. She also emphasized the fact that Mr.Spence was not just an ordinary teacher, but the one holding doctorate degree, and the phrases were copied almost everywhere.
Blatant Instances of Plagiarism
The blatant example of Mr. Spence’s plagiarism was a publication of the anecdote in the “Star”, a newspaper in Toronto, where he outlined the topic of mass school shooting in Newton, that was taken word for word from another writer. Some other examples were found in his book “On Time! On Task! On a Mission!” where Spencer wrote paragraphs, claiming as his own, in fact, those entire passages had been already written 6 years ago by another teacher.
In 2013 Chris Spence was going to publish an article about extracurricular activities for students, and it was published after the article was edited. Prior to that, the article contained plagiarized passages, and that was what Communications Officer, Ryan Bird confirmed. The day the article was published, the scandal began. The readers started complaining about the sentences they had already read in other articles by different authors.
Soon, Mr. Spencer resigned the position of the Director at Toronto District School Board, and apologized for violation of academic integrity: “There is no excuse for what I did. I am ashamed and embarrassed by what I did. I have invited criticism and condemnation and I richly deserve both. Words of apology are not enough”.He later started dealing with family issues being the Head of Social Services Family Matters in Chicago.
Toronto district school board plagiarism case where a professor is accused of academic integrity violation is not the only one, the same happened at Indiana University.