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Principal cribs his Trump response message from ‘Huffington Post,’ sends it to parents

‘(Say what a great highschool is and is not’

Can we be surprised that students are copying and pasting other people’s work into their own assignments when we see administrators do the same thing?

The interim principal of Connecticut’s Avon High School, Timothy Breslin, was apparently having writer’s block in trying to craft a message in response to Republican Donald Trump’s surprise election victory.

The College Fix obtained an email that Breslin accidentally sent to parents before he had finished it, showing that he had copied large swaths of an election-night Huffington Post article titled “What Do We Tell The Children?”

The article starts:

“What should I say to my students after the election if Trump wins?” a principal asked me recently. Good question. What should we tell our children?

Breslin’s message is titled “Dr. Breslins announcement this morning to students,” and it was supposed to be his transcribed remarks from a Thursday assembly in response to comments made by students that were “unusually inappropriate or bigoted, or even threatening.”

But most of it ended up being the HuffPo piece, which gave principals detailed and politically correct instructions for what to say, prefaced by Breslin’s italicized internal note “(Say what a great highschool is and is not.”

Breslin’s intended message is italicized, while the copied-and-pasted HuffPo material is not. He apparently wanted to move the order around, because the HuffPo material starts with the second of four talking points (honor the election outcome but fight bigotry) and ends with the first (protect students and fight Trump’s “false promises”).

The principal’s section on “bigotry” is clearly adapted from HuffPo, though it suggests he is not aware of politically correct terms for transgender students: He writes “trans-sexual” instead of keeping HuffPo‘s “trans.”

In a message obtained by The Fix that was sent to parents an hour later, titled “Dr. Breslin’s send his apology” (clearly no one is proofing these formal messages to parents), the Avon administration says Breslin’s message

was the draft of the talk Dr. Breslin delivered to students this morning, containing his notes and some referenced materials from another source.

It apologized for the “error” and attached the “actual” talk he gave to students.

Read the HuffPo piece to see the talking points in full, and read Breslin’s non-goof message.

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