EDU/315 – Legal & Ethical Issues in Education
Teaching is no longer an aspect of impacting knowledge on students. Today, however, teachers are not only expected to tutor but also to be the guardian as for the students. Teaching upholds both legal and ethical expectations for teachers. Imagine a fifth grade teacher who during exams suspects one of the students of cheating- this she concludes after she observes the student looking across the aisle at another students paper. The teacher goes over to the student, tears the exam paper in two, and dumps it in the dustbin. On hearing the news, the students parent’s infuriated about the teachers action confront the school principal demanding an explanation for the teacher’s improper use of power. The questions arise on ethical and legal principles that the principal need to consider while analyzing the matter. The principal should determine from the student whether the accusation of copying is true or a false assumption. The teacher did not commit any criminal offense discarding the paper. This is because the teacher neither abused the child nor was he/she unfair. The teacher is, however, liable to unprofessional, which is a breach in ethical expectation of educators (Bull, 1990). Tearing the paper is not only destroys evidence but can also demotivate the student. The student feels harassed and embarrassed in front of his or her classmates, an issue that can lead to poor self-esteem as well as discourage the student. The teacher is also unethical as no prior investigation was done to confirm whether or not the student was copying, which could be unfair treatment assuming the student was not.
Another situation includes a respected 5th grade teacher who is confronted by parents of a 4th Grader for private tuition. The parents offer the teacher $30 per hour for 10 hours of weekly tutoring. The parents inform the teacher that that the student had been diagnosed with a...