Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Plagiarism Unwittingly Published

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Plagiarism Unwittingly Published

Article excerpt

California paper called for printing article submitted by school trustee

THE NORTH COUNTY Times in San Diego County, Calif., got stung with a plagiarized op-ed piece from a surprising source: a school district trustee.

The writer, Deborah Beaghler, said she tried to credit the original source of the material, but Times editor Ken Davy said he doesn't believe her, nor, apparently, does another trustee, Linda Woods.

Beaghler's bylined commentary suggested that public agencies are better run by "outsiders" than "insiders" such as school administrators and teachers. As a trustee of the Escondido Elementary School District, she has sharply criticized administrators.

That was fine with the North Times -- until it received an anonymous fax pointing to an interesting similarity between Beaghler's piece and an essay published by the California Association of School Boards.

Confronted with the duplication, Beaghler, according to a North Times story, said she was not convinced she plagiarized the state school board article because she did not copy all of it.

Beaghler, who did not credit the board in her submission, said she had told a North Times editorial staffer, Kit Bacon Gressitt, that she wanted to share the byline with the state association. …

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