Headteacher suspended for 'plagiarising Ashton Kutcher speech'

Wednesday 12th June 2019 12:30 BST

Kenny DeMoss, headteacher at Parkersburg High School in West Virginia, is said to have given the address to pupils in their graduation year.

He was suspended for five days at a Wood County Board of Education meeting, the News and Sentinel reports.

Mr DeMoss has apologised for heavily basing his May speech on one made by Kutcher at the 2013 Nickelodeon Teen Choice Awards.

He said he should have cited his sources, but maintained the ideas were his own.

Kutcher tweeted that "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness" and cited Oscar Wilde for the quote on Saturday.

He then quipped that "kids and faculty" should cite their sources.

A Facebook video highlighting the alleged plagiarism spliced the speeches together.

Mr DeMoss said the video excluded a disclaimer that multiple sources informed his address.

Footage of Kutcher's speech shows him telling an audience he wants to share some "amazing things" he learned while making a film.

He adds: "It's really three things.

"The first thing is about opportunity, the second thing is about being sexy, and the third thing is about living life."

Footage of Mr DeMoss's speech shows him telling pupils he is going to share some advice with them, before adding: "The first thing is about opportunity, the second thing is about being intriguing, and the third thing is about living life."

Kutcher says in his speech: "I believe that opportunity looks a lot like hard work.

"When I was 13 I had my first job carrying shingles to the roof."

Mr DeMoss says in his address: "I believe that opportunity looks a lot like hard work."

He adds that at one stage he "got a job carrying shingles up and down a ladder to a roof".

Mr DeMoss and Kutcher both say "build a life, don't live one" as they close their speeches.

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