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Ethical Issues Journal

Janessa Bechard
September 24, 2017

Issue #1
Description: My kindergarten class was going on a field trip. A parent signed up to chaperone.
The student who was going to be chaperoned was a student who received all day one-on-one
SPED support for EBD. I approved this chaperone. Our district policy states all chaperones but
clear a background check. I initially forgot to check to see if this chaperone had a background
check cleared. The day before the field trip, it popped into my head to check. This father did not
have a background check on file.
Ethical Issue: To allow for the father to go on the field trip without a background check or deny
this father of going on the field trip.
Arguments to:
Allow the Chaperone to Attend Deny the Chaperone
Family engagement Against district policy
Less SPED staff needed on field trip Another parent could find out about this
No upset child To be honest
No upset father Safety of students

Ethical Decision: I chose to deny the chaperone. I decided that it would be best to deny the
chaperone mainly because it was against the district policy to allow chaperones on field trips
without background checks that have been clear. Additionally, this student typically behaves well
on field trips and I knew a special education assistant would be available to go on this field trip
with him.
Consequentialist or Non-Consequentialist: I believe that this decision was consequentialist. I am a
rule follower so I had a very challenging time breaking the district policy of allowing this father to
go on the field trip. In addition to that, I believe I kept in mind the other 80 kindergarteners,
staff, and field trip hosts and realized it would be in the best interest for the majority of the
people involved to deny his chaperoning abilities for that field trip.
Issue #2
Description: During an indoor recess time, a student who is identified as having special education
needs for Emotional Behavioral Disorder, needed to have a conference with myself about an
incident that happened a few minutes earlier with a substitute teacher. The student and myself
sat down to talk about this issue (this was a common occurrence). As we began our
conversation, this student appeared red in the face. Within a couple of seconds, he pounced at
my face with both of his hands and scratched my entire face leaving scratch marks. He then
picked up a chair and threw it at me- I was about 2 feet away from him. There were other
students within 5 feet of him as well. The special education assistant that was in the classroom
then helped him out of the classroom into a safer area. Shortly after, he went into the in-school
suspension room. The principal came down and asked what my opinion was about this student
coming back into the classroom later that day.
Ethical Issue: To allow the student to come back into the classroom that afternoon or wait until
the next day.
Arguments to:

Allow the student to enter the classroom that Have the child stay in in-school suspension and
same afternoon return to the classroom the next day
To support the relationship between student To try to explain the significance of the
and teacher behavior
Allow the child to get the same education as Safety of other students
the other students in the classroom
The in-school suspension teacher will be free Safety of the teacher
to work with other students
The principal was learning towards this Safety of the student
decision- to please her

Ethical Decision: I chose to allow for the student to enter the classroom that same afternoon. I
think it was very important to continue to facilitate the relationship between the child and
myself. This child was not benefitting academically by staying in the in-school suspension room.
This student has spent many other day in the in-school suspension room without a change in
behavior therefore staying the rest of the afternoon on this day most likely wouldn’t change the
behavior in the future.
Consequentialist or Non-Consequentialist: I believe that this was a consequentialist decision
because I really based it on the hindrance (or lack of) of the relationship of the student and
teacher. I did not want this student to miss out on education and therefore decided it would be
best to allow him back into the classroom that afternoon.
Issue #3
Description: A student had a random going home schedule. Sometimes he rode the bus home
and sometimes he went to after school daycare at our elementary school. Towards the end of
the school year, this student was very trustworthy and always accurate about where he was
supposed to go (according to his schedule). On this day, I forgot to check. He repeatedly told me
that he was riding the bus home. I said goodbye to him and did not watch which direction he
walked towards (bus or daycare). When I got back to the classroom, I checked his schedule. It
said daycare.
Ethical Issue: I may have sent the student home on the wrong transportation, meaning no one
was home to greet him. Should I call his mom and let her know or should I let the problem solve
Arguments to:
Call his mom/guardians Let the problem solve itself
Safety of the student To avoid my embarrassment
Open communication with mom- everybody The mom may not find out what happened
makes mistakes
Ease my mind He’s a smart kiddo
Someone might not be home and he might be Wouldn’t want the principal to find out- after
scared and unable to get into the house all.. this was my first year of teaching

Ethical Decision: I decided to call his mom and share what had happened with her. The safety of
the student was my main priority. Turns out, he was at daycare. He knew all along but was trying
to be funny by telling me the incorrect transportation home.
Consequentialist or Non-Consequentialist: I believe that this was non-consequentialist. While
there aren’t any rules, it is my obligation to ensure my students are safe. While the consequence
of getting in trouble because I sent a student home on the bus on the wrong day were decently
significant, I needed to make sure the student was safe.
Issue #4
Description: During our field trip to the Children’s Museum, 0ne of my students was prompted to
stand in line safely. He continued to make very loud noises and touch the child in front of him. A
school staff member asked him to stop several times. Eventually the line left and he and the staff
member were alone. The student then began to kick, hit, punch, bite, and spit at her. At this
time, this student had not been admitted into the special education program. I was on a
different floor of the field trip chaperoning a group of students. Another teacher came to get me
and told me that one of my students was being incredibly unsafe to a staff member.
Ethical Issue: To leave the group of students that I was chaperoning to attend to this significant
incident on another floor.
Arguments to:

Leave my group of students unattended Allow the staff member to handle the
Staff member and student didn’t have a My duty was to stay with my group of
relationship students
Staff member could get injured Something could happen to my group of
Violent student could get injured Less people involved may lead to less of a
power struggle
Another chaperone was on the same floor at This staff member was very experienced in
the children’s museum Non-Violent Crisis Intervention

Ethical Decision: I decided to leave my group of students to go and assess the situation among
the student and the staff member. Fortunately, I did. At this time, the student had moved to a
safer and more private area. He was spitting on the staff member and was biting her. She was
covered in spit and the child was profusely shouting and crying. The staff member had to put this
child into a NVCI hold to continue to protect the child, herself, and other people at the children’s
museum. I then had to call the principal to come and pick this child up from the field trip.
Consequentialist or Non-Consequentialist: I believe that I made a non-consequentialist decision
because even though I wasn’t making a decision for the good of the majority of the group, I
needed to tend to a more severe situation.