Dr. John Magnotta, Athletic Director for the City School District of New Rochelle plagiarized a recent article from the New York Times, seeking to pass off an article on weight training as his own.
In the recent issue of “At The Buzzer”, a newsletter published by Magnotta, every word published on weight training under his own name was lifted directly from an article by Jane E. Brody, Before You Lift a Weight, Get Some Advice. The article was published by The New York Times on December 13, 2010. The article, on the risks of working out with proper preparation, was actually written by Jane Brody of the New York Times. Magnotta even used the same title for the article in his newsletter.
Magnotta disguised the true author by leaving out a section on the author’s motivation for writing the column for The New York Times — that her husband died in March and she realized she would need to be able to do more work around the house, work that her husband had done.
Such plagiarism from senior administrators is hardly unknown in New Rochelle.
Another, former, senior administrator, Dr. Fred Smith, had his doctorate from the University of Virginia revoked after it was determined he had plagiarized in a Journal News Op-Ed while New Rochelle Assistant Superintendent of Schools. Smith, who left New Rochelle soon after the article appeared to become Superintendent of Schools in the Pocantico Hills School District.
Smith was “invited to leave” from that position just months into his contract for reasons never made public and then fired from a consulting job for an upstate school after officials there learned that Smith had misrepresented the actions of the University of Virginia in revoking his doctorate.
Magnotta’s article begins:
It seems unfair when people get hurt while trying to do something good for their bodies. But that is exactly what happened to nearly a million Americans from 1990 to 2007 when they sought to improve their strength and well-being through weight training – exercises done with free weights or on gym equipment called resistance machines.
Brody’s article begins:
It seems unfair when people get hurt while trying to do something good for their bodies. But that is exactly what happened to nearly a million Americans from 1990 to 2007 when they sought to improve their strength and well-being through weight training — exercises done with free weights or on gym equipment called resistance machines.
You can read the Brody article here.
You can read the Magnotta newsletter here: At The Buzzer
You can view a comparison of the two articles here. The portions Magnotta lifted from the Times article are highlighted in yellow.
Prior to coming to New Rochelle, Magnotta worked at a school system in Rockland County. Talk of the Sound has heard stories about that but nothing solid. If readers know more about the circumstances surrounding Magnotta’s departure from Rockland add a comment.
If any reader knows where Magnotta received his doctorate please let us know.
As the Athletic Director, Magnotta is involved with decisions to suspend students from athletic participation which can include suspension based on violating the school district’s Code of Conduct which includes plagiarism as a grounds for disciplinary action.
VI. PROHIBITED STUDENT CONDUCT
The Board of Education expects students to conduct themselves in an appropriate and civil manner, with proper regard for the rights and welfare of other students, district personnel and other members of the school community, and for the care of school facilities and equipment.
Students may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including suspension from school, when they…
G. Engage in academic misconduct, including but not limited to:
2. Cheating or otherwise compromising academic integrity, including but not limited to representing someone else’s work as one’ s own; using unauthorized oral or written assistance (including assistance by digital or electronic means) for a quiz, test or other assignment, illegally obtaining tests in advance, substituting for a test-taker, knowingly providing another student with the opportunity to cheat, and other forms of unauthorized collusion.
3. Misuse of computer access or facilities in violation of the School District’ s Acceptable Use Policy.
4. Altering school records.
5. Assisting another person in any of the above actions
Magnotta not only plagiarized the content in his newsletter but by transmitting the newsletter via email violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, 17 U. S. C. Section 512(c) and the City School District policy on copyright infringement. It is also a violation of the School District’ s Acceptable Use Policy.
It is School District policy that its Website and electronic mail communications may not be used in a manner which violates the United States Copyright Act. Pursuant to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, 17 U. S. C. Section 512(c), the following person has been designated as the School District’s agent to receive notification of any claimed copyright infringement: Jeffrey A. Kehl, Kehl, Katzive & Simon, LLP, 317 Madison Avenue, 21st Floor, New York, NY 10017, 212/500-5030 (phone), 212/500-5031 (fax) firstname.lastname@example.org (email)
Under U.S. Copyright Law, Magnotta and the school district could be fined up to $150,000 per infringement.
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