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Chris Spence Resigns from TDSB After Multiple Cases of Plagiarism Surface

TDSB chair Chris Bolton announces Spence's resignation in the wake of growing plagiarism controversy.

TDSB education director Chris Spence. Photo courtesy of {a href=""}TDSB's Facebook page{/a}.

Earlier this week Chris Spence, the Toronto District School Board’s director of education, confessed that he had plagiarized portions of an opinion piece he wrote for the Toronto Star. Since then several more worrisome instances of plagiarism in his writing have emerged. The TDSB trustees were scheduled to meet soon to discuss how to handle the situation, but we have just learned that Spence has pre-emptively resigned.

The full text Spence’s resignation letter, and of TDSB chair Chris Bolton’s statement:

From Spence—

It is with great sadness and regret that I am writing to tender my resignation as Director of Education for the Toronto District School Board.

I have come to this decision after a great deal of reflection, and no small amount of consultation with family, friends and colleagues. I do so with a profoundly heavy heart.

My life’s work has been education, and the education of young people. More than anything else, I regret that I have not set a good or proper example for the many thousands of young people I’ve been privileged to meet and know.

I intend to continue to do the things I pledged to do – to restore my reputation, and to uphold the academic integrity I consider to be so important. But most importantly, to make amends for what I have done.

I do not wish to be a further distraction to the Trustees, or my many friends and colleagues at the Toronto District School Board. I therefore submit my letter of resignation and, once again, offer my sincerest apologies.

From Bolton—

Today, I have accepted the resignation of Director of Education Chris Spence from his position with the Toronto District School Board. This resignation is effective immediately.

Given the unexpected nature of this situation, we are taking steps to appoint an interim Director to ensure stability across the system.

As soon as information is available, staff, students and their families will be informed of any further developments.

Thank you.

Chris Bolton, Chair
Toronto District School Board

Spence has also retained the services of communications firm Daisy Consulting Group.


  • Dingus.

    Sweet typo in the URL.

  • Anonymous

    Francis D’Souza asked on twitter if he had resigned quickly enough. FFS. MSM so desperate to outdo the twitterghouls. That said, it’s hard to see how Spence could have stayed, especially once the additional instances came to light and given his weird promise to enroll in *journalism* ethics as if his failure was not that of *educational* ethics. I hope the Mayor’s opinion had nothing to do with any residual animus about the fact that he no longer coaches TDSB football.

  • David Toronto

    Chris Bolton’s resignation is an object lesson that Rob Ford

    would do well to learn from. The only difference is that Bolton

    is 1) educated and 2) adult.

  • steve behal

    LONG overdue!

    • Anonymous

      no kidding. wish him the best and no harm. but honestly, anyone having dealt with the tdsb and him knows exactly this culture of entitlement.

  • Constantine

    I wonder if his letter of resignation is also plagiarised. If not, I’m sure somedy else wrote it for him. Can you belive it this fraud of a director was making $ 300,000 a year!

    • Anonymous

      1 sloppy column and he’s a total fraud?
      What f*cking world of perfect do you live in?

      • Wally

        Maybe you should check your info, there were lots of instances that have been discovered, including his thesis apparently.

      • Eric S. Smith

        Here’s a link to a Star article with more examples — including, as Wally says, five chunks of the guy’s PhD dissertation, where, in copying and pasting other people’s paragraphs, he actually also scrubbed their citations, effectively ripping off multiple authors in a single passage.

  • Anonymous

    “There’s almost nothing in there that Spence wouldn’t have known off the top of his head. A good chunk of the article is just him talking about his own experience in school sports, and how he used to play in the CFL.” cute.