Ethical Dilemnas in the School Districts

Essay by tholtmotaUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, May 2005

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Everyday our school districts are full of ethical dilemmas. Our teachers and other staff have been educated on moral development and implementing these moral values to our children. Teaching personnel experience dilemmas on a daily basis. Having moral obligations to society, to the profession, to the school board, and to students, they find that it often is not clear what is right or wrong, or what one ought to do, or which perspective is right in moral terms (Rushworth Kidder, 1995). Unfortunately, relatively few personnel have been trained to deal with conflicts related to teen pregnancy. Until very recently, ethical issues were given little attention in preparation programs. Dilemmas arise when cherished values conflict. A principal who values both teacher autonomy and student achievement will face a dilemma when teachers want to enact a policy that lowers expectations. This kind of conflict is heightened because school leaders are public officials with obligations to many people who often have competing values or interests.

Should parents be informed if a teacher learns that a student is pregnant? This is the ethical dilemma facing our school today.

The Dilemma

I work for the Tracy Area Elementary school district. We have recently had an ethical dilemma that has increased concern for our students and teachers. The dilemma is a young girl who is 14 years old went to the teacher and told her she was pregnant and did not know what to do. The teacher had quite a shock and did not know how to handle the situation. She encouraged the girl to tell her parents and seek prenatal care. She also helped her to contact the local Planned Parenthood. The girl was quite scared of telling her parents so the teacher took her to the Planned Parenthood (PP), against her...