After Florence-Carlton School District Superintendent John McGee admitted to plagiarism last week, a group of Florence community members have begun a petition for his removal.

McGee says he understands how his actions resulted in a lack of trust and requests that the public look at the “broader perspective” of Florence-Carlton school district's performance.

"In my estimation it's one of the best schools out there for students to attend. If you look at the drop out rate in Ravalli county. OPI's website has listed that we have the lowest drop out rate in the area.The Montana High School Association ranks school districts and we were awarded the number one GPA out of all Class B school districts in the state of Montana with a 3.07 GPA. for our extracurricular activities. I'm very proud that our students achieve those types of accomplishments because it speaks truly to their character and to the quality of education their receiving in our school. I'm hopeful that if people see this petition they can consider the total body of work that's been accomplished here."

McGee says he takes full accountability for the plagiarism and has told the school board he is "willing to do what it takes to remedy those mistakes and errors and to begin the process of healing within our community."

Part of that healing will take place in the classroom, where McGee he will speak to students in their English classes about the consequences of plagiarism, while using himself as an example. "One of the things that I know that I'm going to have to live with is the fact that this cloak of plagiarism is will be something I will wear for the rest of my career . . . and that's hard . . . it's something I did to myself."

McGee's original admission of plagiarism was in regards to an article titled “School Safety a Priority” originally penned by Superintendent Robert Avossa out of Georgia. McGee now admits that a second article was mis-attributed as well. According to McGee, the article ran in November and was a reproducible article that "did not give the credit on it and did have my name attached to it." McGee says he has spoken with both the board chair and vice chair about the November article.

The November article was titled "Getting Involved in Your School" and carries the byline John C. McGee. The same article can be viewed at the website with the exact same title and nearly identical material. The original source carries a byline for Steven Dowshen, MD

Regarding rumors that he had been granted a three year contract renewal after the plagiarism incidents came to light, McGee says the rumors are “another example of stuff that is being made up to stir the public's fears and concerns.”

John C. McGee: