West Virginia Principal Kenny DeMoss Suspended For Plagiarizing Ashton Kutcher Speech At Graduation -- Was He Wrong?

A principal in West Virginia got suspended for plagiarizing a 2013 speech from actor Ashton Kutcher. The educator offered an apology that did not please all.

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The principal of a high school in West Virginia is facing accusations of plagiarism after some people noticed significant similarities between his graduation speech and things actor Ashton Kutcher said in the past.

Reports indicate that one of the graduates was first to notice the suspicious similarities and pointed them out.

The speech was apparently "inspired" by various speeches Kutcher himself had delivered in the past, mostly a popular one from 2013 at the Nickelodeon Teen Choice Awards.

The list of similarities had been published online and did seem quite extensive, so it was not clear how the principal, Kenny DeMoss, would be able to defend the accusations -- if he even planned on doing so at a point.

For him, it was just about inspiring, and he said that he should have included the sources.

DeMosss Explained: "As a proud father and a man of faith, I want to sincerely apologize to those I have obviously offended. It was never my intent to take credit for what I said or give specific credit because of how I prefaced my speech."

Many people have started digging into the speech and ripping it apart sentence by sentence, trying to find other possible sources of plagiarism for the principal.

Also, while it could be argued that the man might have simply been inspired by a famous actor, some of the cases pointed out do indeed paint him in a strange light. 

A few of the sentences are far too specific to have been an accident, such as "I never quit my job until I had my next job."

The speech was indeed inspiring and motivational, and many still praised the principal for trying to instill good morals and positive vibes in the students. 

However, at the same time, others have also pointed out that plagiarism is one of the fundamental taboos in academic environments, and it is not entirely appropriate for a principal, of all people, to be involved in something of the sort, even when it doesn't come to actual academic work. 

A graduate, Abby Smith, blasted him by saying: "I didn't see it as an apology, but as a deflection, which is all too common in our public discourse. I think that Mr. DeMoss holds a position of authority and leadership in Parkersburg High. If I am held to a high standard, I believe that my administrators and faculty should also be held to the same standard."

The educator was suspended without pay for five days. Do you think the principal was dealt with fairly, yes or no?