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What Are School Ethics?

School ethics apply to students, teachers, and administrators.
Ethics lessons are often included in other classes at the middle and high school level.
School board members are often required to make school ethics decisions.
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  • Written By: P.L. Hardt
  • Edited By: J.T. Gale
  • Last Modified Date: 04 November 2014
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Ethics are concerned with the moral actions of people; in general, school ethics apply to students, teachers, administrators, and the school board. For each of these entities, a code of ethics is usually created — from within the institution, through professional organizations, or by both. The code of ethics provides ethical standards that people associated with the school are expected to follow in relation to working with others and in the decision-making process. Ethical codes also establish consequences for individuals that do not abide by school ethics policies. The policies typically are intended to create an atmosphere of trust, honesty, and good citizenship.

School ethics in relation to students are usually centered on students demonstrating respect for each other, teachers, and administrators. Additionally, ethical codes for students usually demand that students respect the facility where they are enrolled, as well. One of the most significant factors concerning students and ethics in the schools is plagiarism — students are required to submit work that is uniquely their own and be prepared to suffer suspension, expulsion, or other administrative actions if it is not.

Teachers and administrators are ethically guided through professional and institutional ethical codes. They typically are required to create a learning environment that fosters high ethical standards for students through modeling and instruction. Moreover, teachers and administrators typically create a safe learning environment in which all students have the same educational opportunities and can achieve success.

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Educators also can be required to demonstrate high ethical standards in their communications with parents, peers, and other individuals associated with the school. Building trust is an essential component to these interactions, as is maintaining the confidentiality of all parties. Teachers and administrators are also ethically bound to maintain their professional training and to present themselves as representatives of the school in an ethical manner.

School board members are guided by ethical codes in their state and through the school district where they serve. Like teachers and administrators, school board members are required to create a learning environment that provides equality in learning to all students. School board members are also required to make school ethics decisions that are focused on safety, the operation of the schools, and local, state, and federal laws governing education. Board member ethics typically mandate that decisions cannot be made based on political or personal beliefs, and that personal gain cannot be a factor in making determinations for the schools.

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cafe41
Post 3

@SauteePan -You have a good point and I want to add that that is why teachers are often fired because of the activities that they are involved in outside of school.

Whether they are breaking the law or not, the schools usually feel that teachers are a segment of society that have to have impeccable moral standards because they are teaching children and are helping to shape their character.

I know that some teachers feel that this is unfair because their personal life should be their own and they should be able to do whatever they want, but unfortunately that is not the case.

Even police officers also have to adhere to high ethical standards and if they are involved in questionable activities albeit legal they too will be fired because of the unethical cloud that forms.

Teachers and police officers have very high profile jobs that directly impact the community which is why they are held to such a high standard.

SauteePan
Post 2

@Crispety - I just want to say that unfortunately sometimes dishonesty also happens with a school. I recently heard a news story about a Blue Ribbon school in the Northeast that was even visited by former First Lady Laura Bush that was fraudulently altering their test scores to reflect their above average standing.

Answers were changed to some of the tests which really is another ethics violation. This is a really sad thing because the children are impressionable and when dishonestly is played out like that it often confuses children because both parents and children have a certain expectation that their school will offer the same ethical values on par or at an even higher level than that of the parents.

Crispety
Post 1

I think that education and ethics are really important because students not only learn the basics of education while at school but they also learn right from wrong.

Students that don’t follow ethical standards are usually punished for it. For example, when students cheat on a test or plagiarize the writing of someone else in order to satisfy the requirements of any given class they are acting in an unethical manner and are usually given a failing grade.

Since the original effort that was required in the class was not made many colleges will expel students because this type of ethics problem invalidates the student's character and makes the rest of their education come into question. Plagarisim is one of those deal breakers that no college or university wants to be associated with.

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