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More on the Chapel Hill cut and paste; agreeing to feed the homeless in Raleigh

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Steal this story: Chapel Hill High School Principal Sulura Jackson, who, as the INDY reported last week, has been accused of plagiarism, spent the weekend making phone calls.

Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools spokesman Jeff Nash confirmed Monday that parents and staff received a recorded phone message Friday night from Jackson, who allegedly used others' material in school memos and letters without citation before and after her arrival in Chapel Hill this summer.

In the message, Jackson apologizes for the distraction caused by the controversy, but not for her actions. Jackson promised proper citation in the future and "modeling proper protocols for all to see."

Nash did not say whether any additional disciplinary action is pending for the principal. Multiple documents obtained by the INDY show Jackson seemed to lift entire passages for letters and messages written in her capacity as principal at Chapel Hill High and her former school, Skyline High in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Jackson signed those passages herself without attribution.

Members of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education have not returned multiple phone calls for comment on the controversy. Jackson's actions have angered parents and some staff at the school.

Jackson defended herself last week in the INDY, saying her actions do not qualify as plagiarism because she is not receiving compensation for that work or turning in her writing for a grade. However, she acknowledged she used form letters and instructional resources in her writing.

Here is Jackson's recorded message in its entirety:

"Good evening Chapel Hill High students, parents and staff. This is Principal Sulura Jackson.

"I'm calling this evening to tell you about an important lesson I learned this week regarding the value of always citing sources in newsletters and other internal correspondence that goes out to staff. Throughout my career, I have made a practice of implementing a variety of resources, including books, online tools and even public access templates specifically designed for educators to use in communicating.

"Although I was saddened to hear it through the newspaper, I have heard the requests of this staff and community and, beginning now, I am committed to citing these sources, whether broad or specific, and modeling proper protocols for all to see.

"As always, I am happy to entertain any questions about my intentions or sources and I apologize for any distraction this may have caused.

"Thank you for listening and have a great weekend." —Billy Ball

Agreeing to feed the homeless in Raleigh: The Raleigh City Council's Law and Public Safety Committee approved plans Tuesday to use a warehouse near Moore Square Park as a short-term food distribution location, while city and county staff work on a long-term plan to end homelessness.

Dana Youst, community-oriented government coordinator for the city of Raleigh, presented plans to use a 3,200-square-foot facility at 215 S. Person St. to the committee this afternoon. Community volunteers and faith-based groups can use the location to provide food to Raleigh's homeless population on weekends. The proposal was supported unanimously by a task force charged with finding food distribution alternatives at an Oct. 22 meeting.

City staff budget estimates for the temporary facility are $111,000 to get the site up and running and $58,000 per year to keep it open. Youst also proposed implementing a public awareness and education campaign, and the creation of a printed resource guide, at a further cost of $7,000.

Assistant City Manager Dan Howe said that while the county has declined to participate financially in the short-term, they are supportive of the idea of the facility and county commissioners are committed to ending homelessness in the long term.

Youst says she hopes city and community members with an interest in caring for Raleigh's homeless residents will donate time, money and resources to the project, which she says will be ready by late spring. —Jane Porter

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