Borah student paper plagiarizes — to criticize Ybarra

Sherri Ybarra was elected last month, but the campaign website plagiarism story isn’t going away.

Sherri Ybarra square
State superintendent-elect Sherri Ybarra

As Melissa Davlin of Idaho Reports first reported Wednesday, the student newspaper at Boise’s Borah High School published an article plagiarized from George Prentice of the Boise Weekly.

The Borah Senator explained its move in an editor’s note.

“We could apologize and say this is a mistake on part of the Borah Senator Staff, but if our new state superintendent was able to get away with it, is it even worth it?” said Senator writer Harmony Soto. “To our State Leadership: Remember, the students of Idaho do pay attention to the examples you’re setting.”

In September, Ybarra removed sections of wording from her campaign website — after Idaho Education News first reported that Ybarra’s wording mirrored passages on Democratic opponent Jana Jones’ website.

This time, Davlin reports, the plagiarism had the blessing of the initial author. Prentice was approached ahead of time, and gave the Senator his permission.

Contacted by the Associated Press, Ybarra spokeswoman Melinda Nothern said she had no immediate comment.


Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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