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Are BISD newsletters plagiarized?
BEAUMONT - By Justin Hinton, KFDM News
A number of newsletters, titled Super News, signed by Superintendent of Schools for the Beaumont school district, Dr. Timothy Chargois, contain word-for-word sentences found on other websites.
KFDM News found at least four newsletters dated Sept. 9, Sept. 16, Oct. 1 and Nov. 11 with content coming from History.com, the Library of Congress, pacer.org, and The Bradenton Times out of Florida and the Georgia Department of Veterans Service respectively.
The Nov. 11 newsletter contains word-for-word sentences found on both The Bradenton Times and the Georgia Department of Veterans Service.
The newsletter in Super News for Nov. 11 reads, Let us remember not only those brave men and women in uniform and the healthy proud alumni of military service, but also the forgotten soldiers among us the less fortunate who have returned from service with much less than they took along.
Dennis Maley, the editor-in-chief of The Bradenton Times had the following to say:
Wow, that sentence certainly is word for word the same as mine. It is a somewhat broad and perhaps even generic sentiment that fits with the rest of his message, So I suppose it's not outside the realm of possibilities that it was a coincidence, but the use of the hyphen to emphasize such clauses is sort of a trademark in my writing that you'll even see appear elsewhere in my article. Thats probably the part that raises the biggest flag to me, though I don't know that Id still completely rule out an unlikely coincidence, unless maybe some of the other parts look to be lifted from elsewhere."
The newsletter dated Oct. 1 for National Bullying Prevention month contains a quote from the director of Pacers National Bullying Prevention Center, Julie Hertzog, only Hertzog is not quoted in the newsletter.
Sarah Busch, with the Pacer Center sent the following message:
Thank you for sharing this information. We have a tremendous number of resources on PACER.org/bullying for students and educators, and we encourage people to use them to raise awareness of the issue and make a difference in their communities. We dont have any control over how they do that, but we are pleased when a positive message about bullying prevention reaches as many people as possible. We do appreciate it when people talk about PACERs National Bullying Prevention Center that they include PACERs website, www.pacer.org/bullying, so people can find resources.
The other three organizations have yet to respond.
Dr. Jim Sanderson, the chair of the Department of English and Modern Languages at Lamar University says it appears to be a sign of plagiarism.
Plagiarism is taking either oral or written material that is not your own and passing it off as your own, Sanderson said. The odds of his writing this exactly with the same structure, the same punctuation, the same wording as this without having seen this, are pretty much close to the definition of a miracle.
KFDM News has reached out to Dr. Chargois, his secretary and two of his communication specialists. No one has responded.