- Associated Press - Thursday, July 17, 2014

MANSFIELD, Mass. (AP) - The superintendent of the Mansfield schools who’s been accused of plagiarizing a high school graduation speech has announced that she’s stepping down.

Brenda Hodges announced Wednesday on the system’s website she will take medical leave beginning Aug. 29 and resign June 30, 2015 when her contract expires.

Hodges wrote that she does not think “the school system can continue to make progress it has made if this issue remains a distraction.”

Hodges was accused of lifting portions of her June 8 speech from a commencement address given by Navy Adm. William McRaven at a University of Texas graduation ceremony on May 17.

Hodges denied plagiarizing McRaven, saying she was given permission to use part of a speech given by another speaker. She did say she should have credited that speaker.

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