Which issues do you feel you need more education and training to address?

Posted: July 1st, 2022

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In lesson 6 you read chapter 8 & you viewed the MindTap Video Case Legal and Ethical Dimensions of Teaching: Reflections from Today’s Educators. Provide responses to the discussion questions below then complete part 2 of this forum and respond to your classmates posts as in previous forums.
Part 1 – Video Discussion Questions – Your Perspectives
1. Of all the issues discussed in the video, which one stood out to you? Explain why?
2. Which issues do you feel you need more education and training to address?
Part 2 – Find a real world example of the legal/ethical issues faced by today’s teachers. You may find an example for a news source, media or internet.Please include the link. It does not need to be peer reviewed but it does need to reflect unbiased, accurate information. Tell why you selected the issue, summarize the issue and how it relates to the concepts you learned in chapter 8 of text and other concepts in the course that may apply. For example are their laws or concepts that apply to the issue that were mentioned in the chapter?
>> Well, as good role models, we teach our students to stick up for what they believe in, to stand up to people who they don’t think are doing–are making ethical decisions. And as a teacher, modeling that behavior with my colleagues when I feel that a colleague of mine may or may not be making ethical decisions, the dilemma for me is how to act in that situation so that I present both a good model for my students but also maintain a friendly and productive, professional work environment for the teachers that I work with.
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Earlier this year, I was in my classroom and students were working on things afterschool, and so they were having conversations with themselves, not with me. I was doing something different, and they were working on group work. And I overheard disturbing things, things that had gone on in school. And they were issues of cutting and issues of sexual activity in school. And so, I did feel the need to report it, and so I reported it to a supervisor.
>> Was it sexual harassment activities, or was it–?
>> No, no. It was it was sexual activity. Engaging in sexual activity in school.
>> I know there’s a gray area for me. It’s the issue of neglect because there are students in my class who I don’t worry for their immediate physical safety or I don’t worry that they’re being abused at home. But I do worry that what needs to happen at home, you know, is not happening. Or students not bathing, or those issues because it’s not clear whether or not those are mandatory reporting issues. And so, that for me is a much grayer area because it also plays more into my values as an individual, my assumptions about what a home life should look like, what my expectations are, which may differ from what parent’s expectations are, family’s expectations are. And again, I would never want to put a child in more trouble than they’re already in by reporting something that was actually–been [inaudible].
>> Right. We have to be very careful that we’re not imposing our own cultural biases on our kids, and always have to respect the cultures that they come from and let that govern the way that we report.
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>> One of the things that the courts have said is that you have to be allowed to make the rules that allow for an orderly and civil experience for everyone, an orderly environment. But at the same time, you are actually, as a teacher, you are a part of the government. So, you actually do have to abide by the First Amendment. You can’t just make any rule in your class. But there are the limits that you are allowed to, that you are–
>> Right.
>> That fall in your favor.
>> And to be specific, when we’re talking about profanity and we’re talking about–
>> Threats.
>> Threats and defamation of other kids, I mean, those are the kinds of things that we have rules against. But I do–I mean, I encourage above all things in my classroom, you know, critical thinking and kids coming up with their own opinions and not becoming regurgitators of something else that they’ve heard. Expressing their feelings and expressing their opinions is very valued. But it’s up to us to teach them how to do that in a way as to not offend others within your community.
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>> So I’m just wondering if there’s a fight, and there have been several fights while I’ve been a student teacher, what is my responsibility as a teacher? Do I get right in there? Do I step back, especially if they’re, you know, bigger kids than I am?
>> One thing that’s interesting that I’ve been taught, and I’ll put that back to the panel to tell me if this is true or not, is that if I was breaking up a fight and a student got injured because of something that I did, maybe I pushed them out of the way, or they tripped over a desk, or something like that, I could then be held liable for their injuries.
>> The safety of the children is the ultimate priority. However, you teaching a high school, you know, you may not have that cultural level. By and large, just get help. You know, and to make sure you get help as fast as you can. But I personally wouldn’t suggest you jumping in the middle of it because not only could you get hurt, but then, you know, other things can happen as well.
>> It makes me wonder the world around being in your classroom, too. I mean, a teacher–must an adult be in the room at all times? There is a teacher next door who stepped out for a long period of time, and then there were chairs thrown and things going on. And so, luckily nobody got hurt. But that would be a situation where I wonder, “Would she be held liable?” But also for not being in the classroom at all. There was no adult in that classroom. So, yeah.
>> The best thing to do is to develop a good relationship with the teacher next door. And you say, “I’m stepping out for a minute. Can you keep an eye on the kids next door?” Open your adjoining door, or something like that. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think that’s the best way to cover yourselves in terms of liability.
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>> If you don’t know, ask. If you’re not sure, don’t. Each district has a district attorney, and that person is always available to receive emails or calls. And generally, you can just, you know, email them about, “These are some of the questions that I have.” And they’ll send you a bunch of information or links to different websites. But my personal advice to anyone is to be proactive and search out the information. Don’t wait for the information to come to you. There are tons of people you can start with in your building. There’s senior teachers. There’s a district attorney as I mentioned. And there’s the union rep. There are tons of different ways and mediums to get this information. And, you know, if we’re about modeling and we’re always telling kids to be proactive about seeking help, then part of that is what we need to do as educators as well and go seek out the information.

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