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New York principal apologizes for copying yearbook message for graduating seniors

A New York principal reportedly is spending $800 in taxpayer money to reprint a page in his school’s yearbooks after it was disclosed that his message to graduating seniors was nearly identical to one that another school administrator wrote.

Roosevelt High School Principal Stephen Strachan remarks borrowed heavily from a statement that Ted Barone -- the principal of Albany High School in Albany, California -- wrote in 2013, according to Newsday.

“From absolute joy to abject tragedy, you have emerged as great leaders, articulate orators, brilliant scientists, breathtaking athletes and extraordinary artists,” Strachan’s message reads.

It also ends with "Congratulations to the Albany High School Class of 2013."

The only difference between the messages was in the second paragraph, where Strachan named three students at his school located in Roosevelt on Long Island, Newsday reports. About 170 students are in the graduating class.

Strachan apologized for the “error” on Tuesday, collected the yearbooks and said the page will be replaced.

“An unedited draft of my remarks was accidentally published rather than the final version, and I take full responsibility for the oversight," he said in a statement.

The $800 cost for the reprinting will come out of Strachan’s discretionary fund, which is taxpayer money, according to CBS New York.

Barone told the station that Strachan contacted him last week asking to quote him in the yearbook, but he said he did not give permission to use his message verbatim.

Click for more from Newsday.

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