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Seekonk Schools Officials Won't Say Why Superintendent Quit

Superintendent Madeline Meyer's decision to resign could have been due to alleged plagiarism.

There is still no official word on why Seekonk school district Superintendent Madeline Meyer , but don't expect to get an answer out of School Committee members.

Committee Chair Mitch Vieira said at the Monday night meeting that the committee members would not comment on the subject.

"It is a personnel issue," he said.

Several sources told Attleboro-Seekonk Patch that Meyer quit because the Seekonk Educators Association was preparing to take a no-confidence vote over allegations of plagiarism. Local resident Bob McKenna said the same thing during the public comment portion of Monday's meeting.

McKenna said Meyer allegedly wrote a letter of appreciation directed to teachers in which she used someone else's words. He said the letter "blew up in everybody's faces," and she was allegedly bullied and possibly intimidated by a member of the teachers union. 

"I want to see some results ...This is wrong if this is the way it went down," said McKenna, adding that if a union member bullied the superintendent, it is harassment. "Diplomacy is one of the first things that should be used."

The School Committee had voted in March . The extension followed the committee's mostly positive performance  of Meyer. The teachers union had released a more .

Arlene Bosco, director of pupil personnel services, was appointed as interim superintendent on Monday.

deb of see-attleboro May 22, 2012 at 05:35 PM
John: You may be right. But, IMO, this no-confidence vote was to serve one purpose and one purpose only. That is to publicly humiliate the target. If this were the first time the union behaved this way regarding Mrs Meyer, I might feel differently In any event, I appreciate Mrs Meyer.s handling of the situation by separating herself from her employer. Now it is time for all parties to all move on.
Robert McKenna May 22, 2012 at 08:27 PM
"let move on and get over it " is a swallow political quote used to sweep things under the rug so the truth can not be told.The way the Union went about this was wrong.. I believe there will be a backlash concerning there approach. Next time you have to explain something to the students about life and it doesn't fit your agenda tell them "let move on and get over for the truth will not be told" Only the swallow use such words to hide from the truth.
Robert McKenna May 22, 2012 at 08:32 PM
Letters do not apply to the word plagiarizing. This was not a published piece nor was it a term paper or thesis it was a letter sent to the Teachers for their day of appreciation. Only Fox news can put that much spin on a wrongful move. And please if you don't mind have the guts to use your full name
Robert McKenna May 22, 2012 at 08:33 PM
Full name John please have some dignity.
Wendy Wagner May 22, 2012 at 10:07 PM
Without taking a stand either way because I have absolutely no information other than what has been posted here, I do have some thoughts on plagiarism. There is plagiarism that can be prosecuted as a violation of copyright, and there is plagiarism that is unethical. If a person tries to make money off someone else's copyrighted material, that person can be subject to legal penalties in a court of law. If a person writes or speaks someone else's content without trying to make money from it, that person could still be plagiarizing. Students do not try to make money from someone else's content, nor do they publish their work, but they are still subject to sanctions for plagiarism. However, I am a little surprised that a letter to teachers in a workplace situation would be characterized as "plagiarism." On the other hand, it would be incredibly lazy for someone who was supposed to be praising and appreciating teachers not to be able to come up with original words. Still, we do not know that this is the reason behind the situation, nor do we know the extent of any plagiarism that might exist.
Jonathan Friedman (Editor) May 22, 2012 at 11:36 PM
I agree with Robert. Be proud of your opinions and use your real first and last name when posting.
John May 22, 2012 at 11:41 PM
Mr McKenna, Sit tight and let all of the evidence unfold before you jump to conclusions and start pointing fingers. There is still a lot of information that has not yet surfaced as to why the Superintendent resigned. Your accusations of bullying have no basis other than your belief of what you have read in the papers. Speaking of dignity, how dignified is resigning from the position of School Superintendent and trying to keep the reason hush hush leading to speculation from people such as you. The lesson that students should learn here is that there are consequences for using other people's words and ideas without giving credit - whether you are a student or a professional.
Robert McKenna May 23, 2012 at 01:30 AM
The lesson students should learn is already posted on the school wall in the front and corridors "Anti bullying" posters. Let us also remember it was a letter of appreciation for the teachers of Seekonk
deb of see-attleboro May 23, 2012 at 10:10 AM
Isn't the most relevant lesson to be learned strike at the heart of conflict resolution? When is it time to "stand down"? Rather than escalating this conflict, Mrs Meyer's resigned. According to the SC and union's joint press release they have decided to follow her lead and just let it go. Do we need another lawsuit? That's not to say the injured party should not have recourse. But I just don't think there is an injured party. After all, "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery". (I apologize for not crediting the creative genius who said this first:)
Robert McKenna May 26, 2012 at 10:21 PM
And now a student has come forward to say" he went to U tube and then the sun chronicle with help from school staff." How did a student get privy to internal e mail????????? And who was the school staff that helped.
Peter Hoogerzeil May 26, 2012 at 10:27 PM
FYI Bob. It was a printed letter on school letterhead, not an email.
Robert McKenna May 26, 2012 at 10:38 PM
How about the rest . Dating back some time.
Carol Bragg May 27, 2012 at 12:05 AM
Perhaps there are several lessons to be learned. Plagiarism is wrong, but it's clearly not the measure of a person's worth or the value of their life. Had Dr. King been brought down by the plagiarism on his doctoral dissertation at Boston University, this country would have been deprived of leadership that very likely averted a racial war in the 1960s. The alternative to King was black power advocates who believed in armed struggle. I'd like to think that Seekonk students are taught that it is not right to plagiarize, it is not right to seek to bring others down, and that "the quality of mercy is not strained. It is twice blest: It blesseth him that gives and him that takes." Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice. In Seekonk, mercy seems always strained and we are in perpetual conflict.
paul May 27, 2012 at 10:19 AM
Here we go with the full name again, just make it mandatory if it bothers you so much.
paul May 27, 2012 at 10:39 AM
The lesson learned is a simple one. When a towns superintendent resigns for whatever reason, it's time to begin the search for a new one. If you want to waste time investigating how a student could be smarter than a superintendent go for it. This story should be about filling an empty seat, not about why the seat is empty. (last name omitted and not needed). (all words in this comment are plagiarize free).
deb of see-attleboro May 27, 2012 at 11:12 AM
After reading the Sun Chronicle report about the student's research and Youtube video, one is like likely to conclude that the future does not hold much promise. I guess the same employee's who allegedly helped the student create his "hit piece" are still employed? If any investigation is warranted, IMO, it should be done by the state into any ethic's violations by school employees. This is a black cloud, to be sure. What a shameful way to end what could have been relatively uneventful school year.
Fact Checker May 27, 2012 at 12:21 PM
Food for thought question: Is it possible that someone was caught plagiarizing and penalized and is now upset and seeking retribution? A search on Google returned almost 1.9M hits for plagiarism checker (software to cut and paste a document and check originality). There seems to be some sort of a vendetta in play but I am purely speculating on that statement. If you listen closely though, you can hear the wheels spinning in the heads of the anti-Durkin crowd.
Wendy Wagner May 27, 2012 at 02:02 PM
If you read the Sun Chronicle story, it mentions that some columns published in local newspapers were also plagiarized. And having seen the examples, I have to agree they were plagiarized.
deb of see-attleboro May 27, 2012 at 06:45 PM
Clearly, it is not in the best interest of the student's to spend much time trying to exonerate Mrs. Meyer. Probably couldn't if we tried. However, it is disturbing to think that school employee's would use an innocent student to bring this matter to the public's attention. To describe such individuals as predators might be overstatement. Or maybe not.
Zacary May 28, 2012 at 09:15 PM
Enough already. The Superintendent cheated and got caught. Suspecting that it wasn't the first time, people checked, and a history of similar behavior was found. Knowing that this checking was happening, the Superintendent resigned. Now the critics appear and do not chastise the culprit, but instead attack the teachers. What a fine example we set for our children. We now (again) read attacks on the SEA. Just as we did when the SEA's rating of the superintendent was published earlier this year. You do not support your children, when you cheer bad behavior or encourage unethical activity. If your child gets a low mark for cheating, will you blame his teacher for that as well. Grow up (and wake up) Seekonk. Listen and learn and become supporters of your schools. If you have questions, ask them. But question the elected officials, the administration as well as the teachers
deb of see-attleboro May 28, 2012 at 11:02 PM
IMO, it will not be "enough already" until the cowards who shuttled an innocent student out front decide they should come clean. Mrs Meyer has left the building. These employees are still workin' their magic in the minds of our children. Does this not bother anyone?
Mark May 28, 2012 at 11:33 PM
There is not one person out here that would say that plagiarism is acceptable or should be tolerated. When Ms Meyers was confronted with it she wrote a letter of apology and was then threatened with a vote of no confidence and notification of her plagiarism to local news stations. She choose to resign instead of launching a fight to save her job. This was not good enough for employees of the schools. They gave the articles in question to a 16 year old student to do their dirty work. He gave those articles to the Sun Chronicle for all to see.The goal was to prove why Meyers choose to resign and humilate her. What should never be accepted is that employees of the school clearly abused their power and authority with a student. How dare an adult take advantage of a child to "prove their case" This preditory behavior demands an explanation and sanctions of the person committing it. Seekonk has woken up to the fact that some people want to hold people to a high standard but don't hold them to the same standard.
Kendelle Aronson May 29, 2012 at 01:46 AM
Fact Checker - I'm not sure what you mean by the "Anti-Durkin" crowd and how the issues are related. I'm not being confrontational or flippant, I sincerely don't understand the point and am curious. Thanks.
Robert McKenna May 29, 2012 at 10:49 AM
If it's not the Union and some individual, but what if that individual belong to the Union or is a Union leader?? We need to investigate this and I believe the State of Ma. should be involved.
Robert McKenna May 29, 2012 at 10:57 AM
Nobody is attacking the teachers it's the union that is of concern. If you have a open vote and not a secret ballot during a union vote, peer pressure is greater when you don't raise your hand to go along with the the unions opinion.. Remember George #43 said "your' either with us or against us">. This is a powerful tools to scare people into thinking and advocating what you want.
deb of see-attleboro May 29, 2012 at 12:38 PM
Zacary: You are absolutely right. We are not supporting the children if we are cheering bad behavior or encouraging unethical activity. This is an opportunity for the SEA to come clean. If all the facts are as reported, who involved the student in taking down Mrs Meyer? IMO, justice will not be served if someone does not step forward or name names. The SEA is a union. Each and every members reputation is at stake. How the school committee handles this crisis will affect the reputation of the district. I agree with Mr Mckenna. We need a full investigation by a entity outside the district. The union should not only welcome such an investigation, they should demand it.
paul May 29, 2012 at 01:06 PM
Sure, bring on the F.B.I. and the A.C.L.U. as well, we should get to the bottom of this no matter how much it costs and no matter how much time is wasted. I agree with Zacary and Mark, she cheated and now she's gone. Time to move on and get over it!
Annie May 29, 2012 at 04:32 PM
The word cheated appears through several of the previous posts to describe what Meyers did. No one has mentioned the story in the Sun Chronicle last week that showed a teacher at Martin school cheated last year on the MCAS. The scores of all 19 students were invalidated because the teacher asked a student to read the writing prompt and she then clarified what it meant and gave an example of what to write to her students. All of the children were brought into the prinicipals office to describe what happened. The state investigated and the action taken against the teacher was that she needed to be retrained in testing procedures. Great way to show the students of the consequences of cheating. The SEA was asked for their opinion and they stated they knew nothing of the article despite being present during the investigation. I guess the lesson learned is that it is ok to cheat as long as the SEA is backing you.
Robert McKenna May 30, 2012 at 10:01 PM
I think the A.C.L.U. would have a field day with this but the Dept. of Education in Ma. would be better suited.
Robert McKenna June 10, 2012 at 07:19 PM
Well the school years over time for the Attorney Generals office to get involved, letter on the way

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