Should Keith Cook Resign?

Dan Coleman's picture

Folks may have heard that Orange County School Board Chairman Keith Cook cribbed his commencement speech delivered at Orange County High School last week. This is a serious infraction given the problems with plagiarism among students and the efforts by teachers to prevent it. Cook surely ought to be a role model in such matters.

Perhaps even worse than Cook’s plagiarism is his continuing denial of it. He initially denied it to the Herald reporter. Moments ago, he told the WCHL reporter that it was not plagiarism because he did not know who wrote the speech and that what was important was the content. He might talk to any English or history teacher to find out just how important they would consider the content if a student turned in a speech by Donna Shalala.

Meanwhile, Eleanor Murray embarrassed WCHL by repeatedly agreeing with Cook that it was inadvertent plagiarism. Yet Cook admits to making a web search for “graduation speeches” and making liberal use of the one he found. That is intentional plagiarism even if he did not trouble himself to find out who the author was.

While some may think that Cook should resign over the incident , I believe that would send the wrong message to students. The example should be that, if they mess up, they have the opportunity to correct the matter and improve themselves.

If you agree, what should Cook do?

My own suggestion is that he should attend a writing class or, if available, a public speaking class this summer at the high school. He should be graded like any other student. In the fall, he should appear at a high school assembly to announce his grade and explain what he has learned to the student body.

I do think he should resign as chair.

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Total votes: 19

111 Comments

If the Keith Cook mess is

If the Keith Cook mess is done and he has "suffered enough" will his supporters bombard the School Board Meeting Monday night since there finally is public comment? Or is it only okay to bring it up if you are on his side? And if your comments are negative you must be a racist.

I'd hate to be an English teacher or principal and have to deal with disciplining a student for plagiarism in Orange County. It was just an honest mistake. They did not intend to do anything wrong...

The issue of Keith Cook

The issue of Keith Cook brings into focus a greater problem. What standards do we expect from those who represent our school system? Mr. Cook plagiarized a speech and then lied when he said he wrote that speech. When confronted with proof of his plagarism, he admitted that he obtained the speech from the internet. He qualified this by saying that it was a "generic" speech and he did not know who wrote it. It has been mentioned in the media that those who have searched the internet have been unable to find a site that does not attribute this speech to Donna Shalala. What I have not seen is mention of the fact that Ms. Shalala refers to herself, by name, in the text of that speech and that Mr. Cook used the same line in his address, substituting his name for Ms. Shalala's. Therefore, there is absoulutely no way that Mr. Cook could not have known who wrote that speech. Mr. Cook has never admitted to lying about this and he certainly has never apoligized for it.

Again I think that the issue becomes what standards do we expect from those who represent our school system? When at some future date, someone asks a graduate of our school system, 'where did you go to school?' Will they be proud to say Orange County Schools? Can we say that we are better off for having Keith Cook on the school board?

I will leave the merger debate to the other thread, but the natural question follows: If not Keith Cook then who? Any steak gorged, gunslinging blowhard can step up to the microphone and say "I am running for school board and I am against merger." But true leaders have the courage to offer their own vision and their own unplagiarized ideas for solving the very real problems that our schools face. One may not agree with James Henninger or Liz Brown about their specific ideas for the schools, but at least they are offering their own ideas and not just criticizing the ideas of others. As leaders they will be responsive to the public, as they should be. If they change their position on an issue because the public truly does not support something, that is not a weakness. That is a strength. Some people call never changing your mind a virtue. Others call it being a dictator. Nobody wants a dictator in the school system. Mr. Cook has frequently refused to have public comment at school board meetings except when it served his own purpose and has even told members of the board that he is "not accountable to the public." The plagiarism and the subsequent lying are only the most recent examples of his abuse of his position on the board.

James Henniger wrote: "I

James Henniger wrote: "I think one of the healthiest things that has happened so far in this campaign is an agreement among the candidates to leave each others signs alone. It's a first step toward civility."

Wow, you all agreed not to break the law! What a powerful statement of cooperation.

None of this has anything to do with Keith Cook or his soon-to-be-unsuccessful campaign for re-election. I have started a new thread where y'all can bitch about who's for or against merger to your heart's delight. Please take it there or risk having your comments deleted: http://orangepolitics.org/elections/orange_county_school_board_race.html

Jean Bolduc wrote a column

Jean Bolduc wrote a column in today's paper about the OC School Board, Keith Cook, and finally set the record straight about Dana Thompson. Just to tag on to what she said, people better pay close attention to Dana Thompson's friends and candidates for School Board, Liz Brown and James Henninger. If Dana's retirement is a welcomed event, then voting for Brown or Henninger would probably be a bad move. Rumor has it that Brown and Henninger are running on a ticket that is being organized by Dana Thompson.

CJ, I don't see how your

CJ,

I don't see how your comment about me has anything to do with whether Keith Cook should resign, but I think you need to get all the facts before casting inuendo. Dana Thompson's children and mine are close friends and that has brought our families together. Dana and I are able to appreciate our differences of opinion. I would say the same for Liz Brown. We are agreed to disagree. Al Hartkoff and I spent a long night together as volunteers for Project Graduation. There are areas of agreement and disagreement between us, also. One of the reasons I am running is because I think that the board needs to be able to be able to move beyond disfunctional disagreement. I don't demonize the opposition. Before you suggest that I am part of a ticket, please find out who I am and what I stand for. Does it make sense to send the same people back to the board and expect different results?

James, interesting comments.

James, interesting comments. As I stated, the rumor going around the county is that you and Liz Brown are running as a ticket being organized by your good fried Dana Thompson. Is that true or is it not true? I know, I know, shame on me. Gossip is the devil's radio. But a friend of mine told me that Liz Brown said that you two were running as ticket and she thought it was a really good ticket. Please do enlighten! How do you explain the fact that so many pro-merger supporters are behind you. Doesn't it look a little strange to be an "anti"-merger candidate and have so much support from the pro-merger contingency? Including pro-merger advocates Dana Thompson and Liz Brown? Does it make sense to send the same people back to the board and expect different results?

It is very clear that

It is very clear that everyone and their mom knows what keith cook did. My question to those who know the county is my confusion about other people and what they stand for.

it seems liz brown definitely cried out for merger. But NONE of the supporters in letters to the editor mention the word "merger" once in the letters. Liz, James or anyone else care to address this important political position. I hope this in not a keep it below the radar and hope no one notices. If you changed your position that is great too or maybe you never had one. Is this a purposeful omission or just not part of your platform. It seems highly suspicious to leave out something like that. Are any of you pushing for a county wide supplemental tax or a district tax for the county???

did any of you county folks notice the county managers report that shows in 10 years the county per pupil funding per penny tax increase will be larger than the Town's district?? Financially you are doing a disservice to your constituents if per pupil funding is your ultimate goal. all available by clicking through www.co.orange.nc.us through the merger study reports and appendices...... I guess the social justice can turn around too.

CJ and JC, I invite you to

CJ and JC,

I invite you to contact me at henninger4ocs@earthlink.net and I will be happy to provide a phone number. Anyone who knows me would find the idea that someone was pulling my strings or that I was part of a ticket quite laughable. I'm not a politician and am not part of a conspiracy. As far as Dana goes, we have not discussed school board platforms or whatever. My impression is that she will be happy to wash her hands of it all when her term expires. I'll be perfectly honest with you. I enjoy discussing issues with Liz Brown. We are in agreement that we are in it for the schools, but we have disagreements as to how we go about supporting them. So, as far as being a ticket, I would say that understand we both are in it for the children and that we can play in the same sandbox without demonizing the other. The first time I ever met Al Hartkoff was at our first forum a few weeks ago. Since then we have had some chance for exchanges, and it's pretty much the same between him and I. Some agreement, some disagreement. I feel that I can rationally discuss points with these people and still sit down and have a drink together afterward.

I think one of the healthiest things that has happened so far in this campaign is an agreement among the candidates to leave each others signs alone. It's a first step toward civility.

My approach to people with whom I am in disagreement is to try to find out where they are coming from. People do things for a motive. If you can figure out what it is, perhaps you can find a common ground. Sometimes not. Unfortunately, I think that one of the motivations driving some positions is ambition for higher office. Because that means catering to Chapel Hill voters, that compromises the county schools if one is a county school board member.

I'm glad you ask why pro-merger people support me. You omit that more anti-merger people back me. I have consistently advocated a different path from either. Let's look rationally at merger. Merger is not going to happen through the democratic process. The county doesn't want it and the city doesn't. The county commissioners are not going to vote for it. The merger process is most likely to come through judicial action. I don't believe that the rationalizations for the Chapel Hill - Carrboro special district tax will hold up in a civil rights venue. It is simply wrong that the wealthier part of the county insulate its tax base in order to enrich only its children. The superior achievements of the city school system are a result of doing exactly that. If the disparity between the county and city school system grows great enough, it invites this judicial intervention. We would all lose control of the process at that point. The direct way to avoid this action would be to fund both systems equally. I think that would be a prohibitive tax burden (although that is what we'd get hit with if the courts get involved). so we have to find a precarious middle ground where the county school systems are strong enough to the degree that merger becomes a non-issue. This will require two things: (1) The county schools need adequate funding. The needs of the school system are real, and there are some real gaps in services to the students, so we have to come up with some additional funding. (2) The school board has to be a strong voice for the system. That has simply not been the case and will not be the case if we send the same people back to office. Exchanging one candidate (pick any one) for Dana Thompson will not alter the disfunction of the present board.

Taxes. We have a serious problem that a few are just beginning to pick up on. Because of Federal tax reductions and the stagnant economy, both the state and the county have reduced revenues. In the county, the income derived from the 1/2 cent sales tax is less than before. Because of reduced income taxes, the state is funding the schools less this year. The spotlight is always on the local supplement to the schools, but the majority of the schools' budget comes from the state. The reduction in state support is greater than the proposed increase from the local supplement this year. Because of state mandated increases the county school system cannot fund its present level. In other words, the onus of tax support for the schools has shifted from income taxes (the many) to property taxes (the few). To fund all the requests in the county budget this year, it would increase the $200,000 property tax by somewhere around $400. That is not a one time pop. It would increase again next year (hopefully, by not so much). Regardless, that is an intollerable tax burden. We have to come up with a new tax model, or at least expand the one we have so that the property owners do not take the brunt of supporting increased funding. That's going to take coordination with our state legislators because that is where the authority lies. I have written a letter to the editor concerning this, because I think that that is the real number one issue we are facing. Any school programs that candidates mention supporting, whether it be Spanish teachers or year round schools, have to be funded. If we want to have a non-merged school system, we have to come up with a solution to funding. At present, it's a real rock and a hard place. It's going to take some creativity, sobriety, and determination to pull it off. I don't see it happening with the current cast of characters. I don't mean to impugn them en masse, but the chemistry is just all wrong.

I have two kids in the system, one starting Cedar Ridge, the other starting Stanback. What I want for them, I want for all the children. That has nothing to do with Dana Thompson or Liz Brown. I have recommended Liz Brown to voters because I believe she would be a tireless advocate for children. I have recommended others, also, but your question was about her. As far as I know, there is no ticket among any candidates.

To tell you another truth, I am probably closer in stands to Andrea Biddle than any of the others (but we are not a ticket, either).

Anyway, I would hope that the electorate would take the time to find out all about the candidates running this year. I think that the school board election is a true referendum for Orange County to decide if they want more of the same or a leadership group that binds the education community. It won't happen if we make enemies of those who could be allies.

OK enough is enough... Keith

OK enough is enough... Keith Cook made a serious mistake and he has admitted to it, apologized and resigned as chair of the Board. If his term on the board was not about to expire, then I might be inclined to agree that something more should be done to punish him for his actions. However with Cooks term expiring and his decision to run for re-election still standing. LET THE VOTERS DECIDE IF HE SHOULD RETURN!

It amazes me the way that people are trying to rip Cook apart as if he were the only person that ever made a mistake and for that matter even lied about it. We need to take a real close look at all of the candidates that are running for the Orange County School Board and we would quickly find out that we have a major liar amongst them in the person of Liz Brown. Brown has now gone on record saying that she is not in favor of School merger and that is certainly the biggest lie I have heard in a long time. The records clearly show that Liz Brown is one of the foremost advocates of School merger in the entire county. Brown was very vocal at all of the public hearings on Merger and participated in many Pro merger activites.

How can we possibly vote for a women who now claims that she is not in favor of School merger yet the truth is that her sole purpose is to dismanlte the very school system that she's running for a seat on. If we want the truth from Cook then we should expect the same of every other Board member and candidate. If people want to merge the School systems then they're entitled to their opinion, However tell the truth and dont spend your campaign lying to the voters just to get elected. This conduct is terribly unethical and self serving and does nothing for the betterment of our School District as many have claimed of Cooks recent actions.

This week's Time magazine,

This week's Time magazine, (June 14, 2004 Reagan Commemorative Issue) lists quotes of the week on page 13 entitled "Verbatim"--this week's quotes are from Grand Ayatullah Ali Husanin Sistani, President George Bush, Pope John Paul II, Enroe Trader, Bill Clinton, Howard Stern, and the last quote is from our own Orange County School System representative--Keith Cook. In black and white for the whole world to see is written this quote: "I would've never done it if I knew. It didn't have a name on it."

I would have to agree with

I would have to agree with you, CJ. Ms. Brown visited our office recently, and claimed vehemently she was anti-merger. However, by all accounts (newspaper, merger hearings, etc.), it is obvious she is one of Dana Thompson's merger cronies. She may not have plagarized anything yet, but if we are going to hold our board members (and candidates for that matter) to high ethical standards, we need to be careful to not elect someone who is already unethically misrepresenting herself. And to think we were getting rid of the unethical element on the board...........

I agree with Jason what

I agree with Jason

what does

"it's not a matter of merging or not merging" mean exactly?

It's on all her responses and literature.

Is that like "it depends on what the meaning of is, is" ???

Obviously Cook still does

Obviously Cook still does not get it. Today's papers say he does not understand why it is a question of ethics because he did not intentionally plagiarize. Guess he did not intentionally LIE about it either. Nor has he produced the web site that has the speech without Shalala's name. I am still guessing that the Cedar Ridge speech was canned off the web. Students learn early to site their source.He must have missed that lesson in school. He has spent more time writing speeches to reply to this situation than he probably spent on the graduation speeches.

And what's this about Stephens not having read the policy before? Did she not bother to read it when they voted on it? Is Cook's level of ethics so low that he still does not understand the importance of the problem even after it has appeared in the news and even Time magazine.

New lesson for students - all I needed to know about getting out of hot water by Keith Cook - if it is not intentional, it doesn't count.

Howdy. The Chapel Hill

Howdy. The Chapel Hill Herald reporter, Beth Velliquette, missed most of the trial about Liz Brown. She walked in during the final two witnesses. Here is a more complete account of what happened:

http://www.aconews.com/articles/2004/06/09/noc/news/news04.txt

It would seem to me that Liz Brown has a purposefully chronic condition of misrepresenting herself. At the very least, she has a credibility problem.

I believe the student

I believe the student council at either county high school would be quite capable of leading the county schools as a board. Not a bad idea, they seem to have more sense than the current members

I don't want to prolong this

I don't want to prolong this discussion too much but I do feel like there is more than a little confusion over the concepts of 'fair use' which relates to copyright law and 'plagiarism' which is an ethical and not a legal issue.

Presenting material that you have not created as your own is plagiarism--even is the work copied or presented is in the public domain. This has little or nothing to do with 'fair use.'

http://www.plagiarism.org/ also known as turnitin.com is a major resource for teachers attempting to identify misuse of written works by students; it would have quickly found the Cook appropriation.

Fair Use relates to the reproducing (copying etc) of materials that are covered by copyright. Some would say this is a hole in the copyright law, but for others this hole allows important uses such as the right to quote from a book you are reviewing without seeking permission -- for one example.

See http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ1.html for more on copyright and in specific see Section 107 for information on 'fair use' exemptions. There is no 10% rule nor is there a legal requirement of attribution.

Fair use is what allows you

Fair use is what allows you to photocopy a couple of pages out of Newsweek without violating copyright law. It would never excuse what happened here.

Under fair use you can reproduce something like 10% of a work without securing permission from the author or the owner of the copyright. If you did photocopy pages from a magazine, however, you'd likely photocopy the name of that magazine on the bottom of the page, thereby attributing it. Still, if you did that, then crossed off all the attribution, put your name on it and said you wrote it, that would be plagiarism.

I think it is time to move

I think it is time to move on. Keith Cook stepped down as chair. It may not be the solution that people wanted but it is done and it is time to concentrate on more important issues. The board needs to focus on the disappointing budget that the county commmissioners are going to approve, not on how to further punish Cook. We, as voters, can have the final word on Cook on July 20. We, also, now need to concentrate on replacing those commissioners who refused to provide additional money to OCS through a county wide district tax and instead, did nothing to help our schools.

What is this the "fair use

What is this the "fair use doctrine" that Dr. Hicks said made it okay for Mr. Cook to use someone else's speech? Will that be what principals will hear as an excuse from students next year? Or will students caught cheating, stealing or lying just say it was an "honest mistake." They are human and have been working hard # years. What an oxymoron - a lie being an HONEST mistake!

SD

I'm sorry that I confuse you

I'm sorry that I confuse you (again) Duncan or that my words appear as a cryptogram to Jean Bolduc.

Mr Cook is not the first elected official caught in what people believe is a lie, and he won't be the last. I observed that the issue for many was not his intent cor "mistake," but the absolute standard that says a lie is a lie.

My question was simple: will the next person "caught" using that standard face the same outrage and calls for resignation? Given the cases of miscounduct by elected officials that preceeded the Cook incident that didn't seem to generate the same level of outrage, I think it is a reasonable question to ask. So if you see a "stay tuned" message, it is only to stay tuned for the actions of people in next incident that unfortunately, will probably come.

All actions have

All actions have consequences, and all “mistakes” are not excused by an “I’m sorry.” There are many who feel Board member Cook should have resigned from the Board and not just resigned as its chair. There also appears to be some who felt that he should not have resigned at all. The people who can vote for the Orange County School Board will be able to sort this out by voting their preferences in the upcoming election.

But what is not as clear is if all of those who voiced strong feelings about the penalty for ethical lapses by elected officials will apply the same standard to all elected officials. After all, it’s not about the intent of the lie, the scope of the lie, the severity of the lie or the sorrow over the lie; it’s only about the lie. Should be interesting to see how this unwavering and resolute standard is applied to others in the days ahead.

How pathetic he is.

How pathetic he is. Resign's as chairman, but stays on the board and is going to rerun for election?! I can only hope and pray he doesn't get re-elected. Time for an almost clean sweep of the current board.

The single judge found her

The single judge found her not guilty of"malicious and wanton distruction" but apparently she had tried to have the county remove them and the county did not so she stole them.

So she is not criminally convicted but has severe ethical issues.

No, I don't think the School

No, I don't think the School Board can remove Cook for this. He ought to resign, but I doubt he will. The teachers and the boards talk about expecting the kids to know right from wrong, know not to cheat--and then this. If you ask me, his actions would indicate that it's OK to cheat--just don't get caught--and if you do get caught, whine about how your own lack of self-esteem MADE you cheat. If someone can explain how this differs qualitatively from kids who feel thay have to cheat in school so they can get into a good college--please enlighten me.

Melanie

Oh--and I talked to a OCHS

Oh--and I talked to a OCHS grad (class of 2004) and her dad this afternoon--and THEY both think he should resign--and don't understand why there is ANY question. So it's not just the folks on THIS end of the county who think Mr. Cook ought to resign.

Melanie

For the record, the school

For the record, the school board cannot remove Cook as Chair -- their strongest option is to censure him. Oddly enough, they actually could unseat him over this. It would certainly meet the "disreputable conduct" standard.

There's no reason for them to do so, however -- the process is cumbersome enough (the State Board of Ed must review it, then there's an available appeal process) that it would be much more quickly done by the voters, if that's their will.

You have to at least credit Cook with good timing ... better to botch this right before the election than after, Give the school board a chance. They might just surprise you.

Does the school board have

Does the school board have the authority to remove a member, or simply to rescind his chairmanship? I recall that in Durham, the Board didn't have the authority to boot Jackie Wagstaff off despite her conviction on misdemeanor fraud charges.

Melanie, I agree that Keith

Melanie,

I agree that Keith claiming to have written his speech was a "stand-alone" failure. However, I think it is important to realize how the thin the ice of intellectual ethics is when someone can pay someone else to write a speech and then claim it as their own. From this perspective, what Keith initially did was just a little farther down the continuum.

Mark, Your slippery slope

Mark,

Your slippery slope ain't so slippery.

I pay people to build me a house and then present it to the world as "my" house.

I pay Honda for a car and call it "my" car.

I cook a dinner for my friends from recipes in The Moosewood Cookbook and say it's "my" dinner.

Somebody seeds the grass in front of my house; somebody else applies fertilizer and weed killer. (I mow it, but I could pay somebody else to do that too.) Yet it's "my" lawn.

I hire somebody to paint a picture, pay for it, and then hang it over my fireplace. It's "my" painting.

We live in a world in which the line between what becomes our own when we hire somebody to create or maintain it and what belongs to somebody else is really quite clear, and fundamental. Shalala's use of a hired speechwriter and Cook's theft of his graduation speech are two entirely different things, and your analogy really does nothing to smudge what to most people is a pretty bright line.

Everyone should have a look

Everyone should have a look at Mr. Cook's "Remarks to Orange High's Class of '04" published in today's Chapel Hill Herald. I looked for it online to provide a link, but couldn't find it.

It's an incredible piece of writing.

Mr. Cook apologizes . . . for not feeling that his own thoughts were good enough to deliver at the graduation ceremony. For not, as he says, "trusting his emotions."

("I apologize to you, the graduating class of Orange High for feeling that my words were inadequate that day. . . . For the poor judgment that I use, I apologize to you and will forever question myself for not trusting that my emotions and faith would be acceptable and appropriate for the occasion.")

There are also references in there to his being a veteran and to having served two tours of duty in Vietnam and to having a son in Iraq now.

This is taking responsibility? This is an apology?

A smattering of clues about

A smattering of clues about who may have written the speech Shalala gave. She hired professionals and paid for speeches. This apparently makes them her speeches by our consensus rules of intellect.

Before his assignment in the White House, Edmonds served as a speechwriter for Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala.

Jim Grossfield later served as chief speechwriter for U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Mike Espy and, later, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala.

From 1989 to 1993, Jacqueline Mitchard was the speechwriter for now U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala, while Shalala was Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin.

Lisa Newman

Speechwriter, Office of Secretary Donna E. Shalala, Dept. of Health and

Human Services, March 1993 - July 1995.

Dr. Linda Bayer

As senior writer and strategic analyst at the White House, I wrote 300 published articles, opinion editorials, speeches, and features in the name of President Bill Clinton, Vice President Al Gore, ONDCP Director Barry McCaffrey, and other Cabinet members (Attorney General Janet Reno, Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala, Education Secretary Dick Riley, etc.).

I'm a little saddened that

I'm a little saddened that this propaganda (below) for terrible policies is part of the fifth grade curriculum! Is it too much to ask that US history include lengthy segments on how US industrialization was based on 'borrowing' a bunch of ideas from the British, or how the American publishing industry got going by printing books by British authors without paying them a cent (true story). Crediting a speech is one thing, but 'intellectual property rights' is a code phrase for enshrining corporate monopolies as law, and is responsible for a great deal of death and suffering in the world, a result of depriving governments of their right to supply medicines to their peoples. I'm flabbergasted that this is embedded in public school curriculum. What next--the virtues of shopping at the mall and eating fast food?

5.05.1 Relate Copyright Law to character education study value of honesty.

5.05.2 Use picture books on the subject of "stealing" to emphasize that stealing information is as bad as stealing objects.

5.05.3 Discuss purpose and need for Copyrighted information and locate copyright dates and "warnings" in books, on videos, etc. (See IMPACT: Guidelines for Media and Technology Programs).

5.05.4 Discuss Copyright as it relates to text, images, music, software in print and electronic formats.

5.05.5 Discuss the term and concept "plagiarism." Write paragraphs relating "plagiarism" to another form of dishonesty.

5.05.6 Provide most current Copyright information to teachers and school personnel.

5.05.7 Encourage teachers to emphasize Intellectual Property Rights as they work with students to identify and use resources.

5.05.8 Work with students to develop a "Good Habits Checklist" for using Copyrighted materials.

http://www.ncpublicschools.org/curriculum/information/strategies/3-5goal5.htm

Mark--whether Shalala wrote

Mark--whether Shalala wrote her own speech is not germaine. The fact that Cook initially tried to pass this speech off as his own, and when that failed, tried to claim it was a "generic speech," is. The good news? Both of my kids who attend/ed ECHHS (supposedly a bastion of cheating):

A: Knew Cook had pagiarized.

B: Knew how to properly cite an "unknown source"--even on the internet!

C: Thought his "trying to weasel out of it" was "Male Bovine Feces" (OK--I paraphrased that last bit.)

D: Pointed out that if they did something like this on a final/important paper for a course they would probably get caught and FAIL the class--and at my older kid's college he would CERTAINLY lose his scholarship and probably be ejected for violating the honor code.

THEY both think Cook should resign---and hey, who am I to argue? What an idiot...and what a poor example..and how sad that, to date, none of the OC school teachers have weighed in on this. I was proud of the CHCCS teachers who prompltly wrote the editor of the local paper.

melanie

Now Cook has remarks printed

Now Cook has remarks printed in the newspaper, we have an apology ONLY to the OHS graduates and parents for "poor judgement" but not a simple "I'm sorry - I lied." Could be he is just sorry he got caught? Does he still not get it? I gave him the benefit of the doubt but was unsucessful in a long search to locate Shalala's speech woithOUT her name. He still knew he did not write it! Are we to believe his remarks are the speech he wrote before graduation included comments about "mistakes" and all? Has anyone checked to see if his Cedar Ridge speech that quoted the author Robert Fulghum was also canned off the internet? Oh but that speech was not as important, those students not as important because it wasn't a LONG three minutes. If he wrote the Cedar Ridge Sppech, why not just add a little to it and make it long enough. Oops - that assumes he wrote it and we all know what happens when we assume...

This discussion on merger is

This discussion on merger is the same old simplistic "tell Orange to do what CHCCS" did. While adding a new tax may solve one problem, it will more than likely create many new problems. We really need to think carefully about the unintended consequences before rushing into a solution. I will not support or oppose any candidate based on the school merger issue, until the discussion has become less shallow.

Terri

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