St. Francis school board member ousted for plagiarizing

  • Article by: MARIA ELENA BACA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 11, 2012 - 6:44 AM

Matthew Rustad thought censure for a plagiarized article he submitted to a newsletter was enough, but board decided otherwise.

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mn55066Dec. 11, 1212:11 AM

If the seat on the school board is vacated, Rustad could be a candidate in a special election to fill the seat.

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dahutysDec. 11, 1212:18 AM

"He didn't plagiarize to be malicious." Plagiarism is stealing someone else's work, and then lying to claim that the work is your own. Stealing and lying are still stealing and lying, even if you don't do it maliciously. Someone really needs to advise this kid that his future would be better served if he would accept the consequences of his choices, leave the school board, and give people time to forget about this. The more he gets in the public eye for giving excuses like, "My mom never told me plagiarism was wrong when she home-schooled me," the more weaselly he looks.

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comment229Dec. 11, 12 4:55 AM

There is a fine line here and he crossed it. All he had to do, was to submit the article with a paragraph at the beginning stating that this was not his work, but did a pretty good job of representing his opinion..... With that disclaimer, he would have got his message across, his feelings known, and given credit to the administrator in New Mexico. Instead, he chose to sneak it in as his own work; and that is where the line was crossed. Every single time I have seen plagiarism (and I have seen it a lot) is because someone was too lazy to sit down and write a well thought out article.

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murphydogDec. 11, 12 7:08 AM

Every single time I have seen plagiarism (and I have seen it a lot) is because someone was too lazy to sit down and write a well thought out article. comment229 - Do you think they are too lazy to write the article or unable to write a well thought out article?

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fishanhunt2Dec. 11, 12 7:12 AM

Plagurism is wrong, but one still has to wonder how many educators would survive a charge like this. Sounds like a little bit of a witch hunt to me. Home schooling is a dirty word to many of our school system administrators.

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localguyDec. 11, 12 7:19 AM

Plagiarism is blatant academic misconduct. Students who engage in plagiarism often defend themselves by saying that they didn't know that it was wrong, but they still get a zero on the paper and often flunk the course. If a school board member can plagiarize and still keep his (or her) job with only a slap on the wrist, it sends the wrong message to the students. When they seek a position on the school board, they're asking to be role models for the students. Role models need to be held to a higher standard. I feel badly for Mr. Rustad because he probably really didn't know that plagiarism was wrong, but that's part of the problem and letting him off is not part of the solution.

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kkjerDec. 11, 12 7:49 AM

When academics steal from one it is called plagiarizing and considered blatant misconduct. When an academic steals from many it is called research and totally acceptable. This is blown way out of proportion and wasted the school districts money.

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BroonieDec. 11, 12 8:06 AM

Rustad is a really bad example for the kids. Because students must properly cite every reference that they use in their schoolwork, not punishing him would overturn every rule that parents and teachers are trying to impart to the kids.

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lawyerguyDec. 11, 12 8:11 AM

No question plagerism is wrong. There is no acceptable excuse for it. However, there seems to be no nexus between this plagerism and his duties as a school board member. Raising expulsion one month after censuring Rustad makes me feel there is another agenda at work. Rustad was elected by voters and it seems better to let voters decide, based on his body of work, whether Rustad merits reelection when his term expires.

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halfnorskDec. 11, 12 8:17 AM

I'm a big home-schooling advocate, but I don't support Rustad's plagiarism. After all, if a board member gets a pass, then teachers have no authority to penalize students for plagiarism. He should apologize without excuses and get on with life.

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