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UPDATE: Should Toronto school board's Chris Spence be fired for plagiarism?

Categories: Canada, Community, Politics

UPDATE: Chris Spence resigned Thursday afternoon, according to a statement released by the Toronto District School Board.

Original post Thursday morning:

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has called for "major sanctions" against Chris Spence, the director of education for Toronto's public school board, after Spence admitted plagiarizing passages in an opinion piece he wrote for the Toronto Star.

Chris Spence, director of education for the Toronto District School Board, says he is \Chris Spence, director of education for the Toronto District School Board, says he is "ashamed and embarrassed' for plagiarizing passages in a published opinion piece. (TDSB)Spence apologized in a written statement posted to the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) website Wednesday.

"I can provide excuses for how and why this happened - that I was rushed, that I was sloppy, that I was careless - but that's all they would be: excuses," he said. "There is no excuse for what I did."

Now, the National Post reports that Spence may have lifted passages without credit in two other opinion pieces previously published in the Star.

One of the pieces included a conversation Spence ostensibly had with his son about the mass shootings in Newtown, Conn.

But Spence's anecdote about talking about the shooting with his 10-year-old son that is very similar to an account written by Aisha Sultan of St. Louis Post-Dispatch about her conversation with her seven-year-old son.

Chris Bolton, chair of the Toronto District School Board, told CBC's Metro Morning that board trustees have met with lawyers to discuss options. Bolton wouldn't comment specifically on whether Spence would be fired.

Toronto students caught plagiarizing automatically receive a failing grade on the assignment. Some Toronto students that CBC News spoke with called Spence a "hypocrite," and called for him to lose his job.

Should Chris Spence be fired for his plagiarized columns in the Star? Let us know what you think.

(This survey is not scientific. Results are based on readers' responses.)

Tags: Canada, Education, Politics, POV, Toronto

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