PARKERSBURG, W.Va. — Parkersburg High School Principal Kenny DeMoss has been suspended without pay for five days following accusations of plagiarizing a graduation speech.
The News-Sentinel first reported the Wood County Board of Education voted to suspend DeMoss 4-1 on a meeting on Tuesday, following a public apology from him.
DeMoss apologized during a public comment portion of the meeting for heavily copying a speech used by Ashton Kutcher in the 2013 Nickelodeon Teen Choice Awards.
A video made by Parkersburg graduate Abby Smith, that brought up the accusations, shows the speeches together. The speech by DeMoss was made during the school’s graduation ceremony on May 23.
Wood County Schools Superintendent Will Hosaflook issued a statement following the meeting on Tuesday:
“As superintendent of Wood County Schools, it is my responsibility to ensure all employees adhere to the employee code of conduct established by Wood County Schools and the West Virginia Department of Education. In this case, Mr. DeMoss is not disputing the mistake he made. He fully accepts responsibility for his actions and was disciplined appropriately.
“As Mr. DeMoss said tonight, he would never purposefully bring shame to his alma mater or our school system.”
Kutcher sent out this tweet on Saturday:
“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