The West Virginia principal who plagiarized actor Ashton Kutcher in a graduation address has been suspended for five days without pay.
The Wood County Board of Education voted 4-1 to suspend Parkersburg High School Principal Kenny DeMoss on Tuesday, the Parkersburg News and Sentinel reported.
The decision coming after DeMoss “copied heavily” from Kutcher’s 2013 Nickelodeon Teen Choice Awards speech while addressing graduating seniors back in May.
For all the hoopla over the incident, Kushner did not appear to harbor any ill feelings in responding online, giving some friendly advice to all to “cite your sources.”
The actor tweeted: “‘Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness.’- Oscar Wilde. * cite your sources kids and faculty.”
“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness.”- Oscar Wilde. * cite your sources kids and faculty😊
— ashton kutcher (@aplusk) June 8, 2019
DeMoss read a prepared statement at the meeting, according to the newspaper.
“My intent in speaking tonight is to say I’m sorry,” the principal said. “I am a proud graduate of PHS, have coached for 25 years and have been an administrator for seven years in this community. I would never purposefully bring shame to myself, my family, my school, our school system, or our community. I made a mistake.”
Abby Smith, who just graduated from Parkersburg High School, posted a video on Facebook of DeMoss’ speech, juxtaposed with Kutcher’s 2013 speech — it has been viewed more than 163,000 times as of this writing.
Plagiarized Grad Speech
Here is my principal, plagiarizing his entire graduation speech.
Posted by Abby Smith on Tuesday, May 28, 2019
Responding to an earlier apology from DeMoss, Smith told the News and Sentinel, “I didn’t see it as an apology, but as a deflection, which is all too common in our public discourse.”
She also spoke about holding everyone to the same standard she was held to.
“I think that Mr. DeMoss holds a position of authority and leadership in Parkersburg High,” Smith said. “If I am held to a high standard, I believe that my administrators and faculty should also be held to the same standard.”
A popular theme in the responses seen on Twitter involved a “plot twist,” that being Kutcher showing up next year to personally deliver his speech:
Plot twist- you deliver the graduation speech next year. 😁
— Livin’ Life (@christirnmom) June 8, 2019
Come do the speech for #classof2020
— Jaime (@Jkupfner) June 8, 2019
Do the speech for PHS next year. Give some pointers to my boy Demoss.
— la niña🍑 (@itsjustadri11) June 9, 2019
Here’s a sampling of other responses from Twitter:
I cannot believe Ashton Kutcher tweeted about the Parkersburg High School principal. We are living in a simulation https://t.co/5OSvBxKCV9
— Emily (@CastoEmily) June 8, 2019
Man, he's still out here Punk'd-ing people https://t.co/jGZfdF93yW
— Jake Zuckerman (@jake_zuckerman) June 12, 2019
Cite your sources, haha, I get it 🙂
Kind of flattering to get ripped off in a speech, in a way, but on the flip side you’re all like, what, this guy can’t take the time to write his own damn s***?
— DwRhodes (@_dwrhodes_) June 8, 2019
Seriously. How in the world did he not think anyone would know? I’m almost 40 and I recognized it. (Parkersburg born and raised.) Proud to say I graduated from the other high school in town. 😂😂
— Susan Harris (@susanleigh80) June 9, 2019
Analogy: If school is a country, plagiarism is treason. Thank you for taking this topic as seriously as it should.
— Ken McNatt (@KenMcNatt) June 9, 2019
my principal copyrighted one of his entire speeches and only changed the word sexy 😂
— tay (@taylorvtucker04) June 8, 2019
my principal is quaking
— jul (@mxchanadlerbong) June 10, 2019
Way to be an adult sir. Well done.
— MnJean (@TheRealMnJean) June 8, 2019
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