Montana school superintendent apologizes for plagiarizing a column written by Fulton superintendent Robert Avossa

A rural Montana school superintendent has apologized for plagiarizing a column written last December by Fulton County Schools superintendent Robert Avossa. Avossa wrote the column, “School Safety: A Shared Community Focus,” in the wake of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. It was posted on news sites.

In the Jan. 3 Florence-Carlton School District newsletter the Avossa column appeared on the front page, but under the name of superintendent John C. McGee. After an anonymous blogger last month posted a link to both articles, McGee admitted he had plagiarized Avossa’s column.

McGee emailed Avossa on Jan. 28, apologizing for an “error in judgment and mistake I made” reprinting the Fulton superintendent’s column “without giving proper credit to you for your words.” He said he would run a retraction in the district’s next newsletter giving Avossa “appropriate credit” for writing the column.Avossa on Monday confirmed he had received an email apology from the superintendent. He provided a copy of the email — but declined to comment.