The disgraced former education director of the Toronto District School Board has spoken publicly for the first time since January, when a plagiarism scandal destroyed his career.
In a pair of interviews with the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail on Thursday, Chris Spence said the months since have been a “living hell” and marred by “deep depression.”
A Star reader first drew attention to an opinion piece Spence had written for the paper about the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
He stepped down when more allegations surfaced about plagiarism in other articles, speeches and his doctoral thesis.
But he wouldn’t admit to knowingly copying other people’s work. He said only that he relied on assistants, didn’t write a lot of what he put his name to and that sometimes he just read ideas that “meshed” with his own.
Spence said he’s in therapy and is coming forward as part of the healing process and to start to rebuild his reputation.
He is writing two books and hopes to work in education again.
Donna Quan is serving as the TDSB’s interim director while the board looks for Spence’s replacement.