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When School District Trustees nominate and elect another Trustee to be the Chairperson of the Board, ‘We the People’ should do our diligence, as voters and taxpayers, to make sure that the Chairperson elected understands the Laws and Rules governing their elected position and the body they preside over.


We (F.C.A.B.E.) see nothing in any of the OFFICIAL MINUTES or AGENDAS of the Florence-Carlton School District Board of Trustees addressing the topic of a Special Meeting to address this Plagiarism topic.


Florence Carlton Advocate for Better Education encourage all members of the District read the following information and contact Trustee Chairperson Pat Appleby (applebyp@florence.k12.mt.us) and share your thoughts with her in regard to these and any other issues you may feel need to be addressed.  


We (F.C.A.B.E.) have reviewed comments in the Missoulian and Ravalli Republic made by our current Trustee/Chairperson, Pat Appleby. The article read as follows:


  1. “Florence-Carlton School District Board of Trustees chairwoman Pat Appleby said that she and other members of the board will consider holding a special meeting to discuss the matter. “Nothing has been finalized, but that is my plan at this point,” she said.
  2. “We would take up the topic of holding a special meeting at the upcoming meeting on March 12. I’m not going to discuss the petition at a regular business meeting. The reason to call the special board meeting is to not let that topic consume the rest of the meeting. We have everyday business that needs to be handled. The board is still working on what’s going to happen here.”Appleby said the decision to call a special meeting has to be made at a public meeting. She said that the whole incident has become a distraction, although not an overwhelming one, for the district.“We are all heartsick and disappointed,” she said. “Do we wish it hadn’t happened? Yes. So we are here and we have to figure out how to make the best of it…..”
  3. “It’s not a felony or a misdemeanor crime. Guys who plagiarize and get their Pulitzer Prize taken away, that’s a whole different thing. Not to discount the seriousness of it. It is serious. It was a poor choice of judgment. In life, you have good things that you do and sometimes there’s bad things that come up. Do the bad things outweigh the good things? I think we have to think about forgiveness and being human.” 


We (F.C.A.B.E.) see nothing in any of the OFFICIAL MINUTES or AGENDAS of the Florence-Carlton School District Board of Trustees addressing the topic of a Special Meeting to address this Plagiarism topic.



“Plagiarism is taking the writings or literary ideas of another and selling and/or publishing them as one’s own writing. Brief quotes or use of cited sources do not constitute plagiarism. The original author can bring a lawsuit for appropriation of his/her work against the plagiarist and recover the profits. Although not normally a crime, a person who plagiarizes is subject to being sued for fraud or copyright infringement if prior creation can be proved. Penalties vary depending on jurisdiction, the charges brought, and are determined on a case by case basis.

The Internet has made plagiarism easier than ever before. From elementary schools to the highest levels of academia, the ease of downloading and copying “untraceable” online information has led to an epidemic of digital plagiarism. Plagiarism detection software now exists and is used in schools to monitor student’s work. If you adopt someone else’s language, provide quotation marks and a reference to the source, either in the text or in a footnote, as prescribed by such publications as Format, The MLA Style Sheet, or another manual of style. Students who commit plagiarism may be subject to grade or disciplinary penalties, which vary by institution.

Intentional or unintentional use of another’s words or ideas without acknowledging this use constitutes plagiarism: There are four common forms of plagiarism:

  • The duplication of an author’s words without quotation marks and accurate references or footnotes.
  • The duplication of author’s words or phrases with footnotes or accurate references, but without quotation marks.
  • The use of an author’s ideas in paraphrase without accurate references or footnotes.
  • Submitting a paper in which exact words are merely rearranged even though footnoted.

The following is an example of a state statute dealing with plagiarism:

“Works to be submitted by students without substantial alteration.

  1. It shall be unlawful for any person or business entity to sell, offer to sell, or advertise for sale any term paper, thesis, dissertation, essay, or report or any written, recorded, pictorial, artistic, or other assignment which the seller or advertiser knew or reasonably should have known was intended for submission by a student, unaltered to any substantial degree, in fulfillment of the requirements for a degree, diploma, certificate, or course of study at a university, college, academy, school, or other educational institution in the state.
  2. This section shall not prevent any person or educational institution from providing tutorial assistance, research material, information, or courses in research or writing unless this service includes the preparation, research, or writing of a report or paper as outlined in subsection (1). No person shall be prevented by this section from selling or offering to sell services which include the typing, assembling, transcription, reproduction, or editing of a manuscript or other assignment prepared by the purchaser.
  3. Any person violating the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.”


  1. Chairperson Trustee Pat Appleby commented that “the decision to call a public meeting has to be made at a public meeting”. We don’t recall there being any Agenda at the scheduled Jan 7th board meeting ( See above attachment for that meeting ) when you called a special board meeting Jan 23rd when you so called reprimanded John McGee.?


2. Chairperson Appleby also stated, “we are going to take up the topic of holding a special meeting at the upcoming meeting onmarch 12th” There is NO MENTION of this (Plagiarism) on the AGENDA for upcoming March 12th Regular Meeting



The Florence Carlton Advocates for Better Education are confused by Trustee Chairperson Pat Appleby’s position on Plagiarism and comments she made in the Ravalli Republic and Missoulian ariticle.



Please these links to the referenced Agendas and Official Minutes:


January 7, 2013 Board Meeting OFFICIAL MINUTES:



January 7, 2013 Board Meeting AGENDA:



March 12 , 2013 Board Meeting AGENDA:




January 23, 2013 Board Meeting AGENDA:



January 23, 2013 Board Meeting OFFICIAL MINUTES:





  1. We (F.C.A.B.E.) see nothing in any of the OFFICIAL MINUTES or AGENDAS of the Florence-Carlton School District Board of Trustees addressing the topic of a Special Meeting to address this Plagiarism topic.
  2. According to law, no action can be taken on an Item that is not on the Agenda for that meeting and giving proper Public Notice of the Agenda Items for that Meeting. MCA 
  3. The Florence Carlton Advocates for Better Education are confused by our Trustee Chairperson’s position and comments in the Ravalli Republic and Missoulian article.

The UNIVERSITY OF MONTANA Writing Center Recommendations on Plagiarism states:

The Writing Center at The University of Montana endorses the Council of Writing Program Administrators statement, “Defining and Avoiding Plagiarism: The WPA Statement on Best Practices”. This document, which can be viewed in full at http://www.wpacouncil.org , recognizes the difference between plagiarism―“submitting someone else’s text as one’s own” with the intent to avoid doing original work― and misuse of sources―“carelessly or inadequately citing ideas and words borrowed from another source”. This distinction should inform the instructor’s response to student papers. Plagiarism intends to deceive others and irresponsibly rejects the instructor’s effort to teach. Misuse of sources reveals the ignorance or miseducation of the student, which calls for additional instruction. Cases of plagiarism and misuse of sources provide the instructor with the opportunity to teach the ethical and practical norms of academic work.

The following frequently asked questions and responses set forth The Writing Center’s recommendations to UM faculty on dealing with plagiarism and the misuse of sources. It does not represent nor replace the official UM policy on plagiarism which appears in The University of Montana Student Conduct Code.





2-3-103. Public participation — governor to ensure guidelines adopted. (1) (a) Each agency shall develop procedures for permitting and encouraging the public to participate in agency decisions that are of significant interest to the public. The procedures must ensure adequate notice and assist public participation before a final agency action is taken that is of significant interest to the public. The agenda for a meeting, as defined in 2-3-202, must include an item allowing public comment on any public matter that is not on the agenda of the meeting and that is within the jurisdiction of the agency conducting the meeting. However, the agency may not take action on any matter discussed unless specific notice of that matter is included on an agenda and public comment has been allowed on that matter. Public comment received at a meeting must be incorporated into the official minutes of the meeting, as provided in 2-3-212.