Joker or Terrorist? William Parker Case Study EDUD 6302
Case #1 • Joe Schein – High School Student • Troublemaker • History of violence & temper • Intimidation toward students & teachers • Frequently suspended • Very intelligent • President of technology club
Case #1 (cont.) • Joe Schein – High School Student • Failed course • Now ineligible for technology club • Threatened teacher • Created website (at home) that contained a hit list and advocated violent action against the teacher and school • Posted photo of the teacher with a bulls-eye superimposed over her forehead
Case #1 (cont.) • Joe Schein – High School Student • Suspended for 3 days • Argues “Free Speech” • Ordered to take down website prior to return to school • Faculty fears his return • Parents and community leaders fear his return • Superintendent wants to meet with the principal
Ethic of Justice • Evaluates questions related to applicable laws, rules, rights, or other legal obligations • First Amendment • student claims “free speech”
Ethic of Critique • A review of the standard rules. • Are laws, rules, rights, or other legal obligations to be followed in this situation? • First Amendment • Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District • First amendment does not apply • Speech resulted in substantial disruption
Ethic of Care • Among educational leaders, the ethic of care is paramount to authentic decision-making. • Principal has an obligation to protect all students and faculty. • “If Joe returns to school, will he attack a member of our student or faculty populations?” • Uncertainty of answer & history dictate actions.
Ethic of Profession • What is in the best interests of all persons involved? • Decision should be compatible with personal and professional codes of ethics • They must ensure that their actions were just and proportional to the infraction • Introduces an assessment of professional standards into the decision-making process. • Objectivity is an important aspect of ethical leadership
Level of Turbulence • After applying the multiple ethical paradigms, the principal should have a better understanding of the overall circumstances within the situation. • Level of turbulence is moderate, but could very easily advance to severe without swift additional actions • Widespread awareness of the issue • Specific origins to the issue
Next Steps • Joe should not return to school • Discretionary expulsion for his act of terroristic threats • Expulsion makes it likely that the turbulence level will be lowered and the school may return to somewhat normal operations rather quickly • Decisive action on the part of the principal will also send a message to his faculty and student body that they are valued members of the school community
Conclusion • Through the use of multiple ethical paradigms, educational leaders have a rational methodology through which to work through ethical dilemmas. • When used in conjunction with Turbulence theory, a second layer of qualitative reflection is created.
References Noddings, N. (1992). The challenge to care in schools: An alternative approach to education (2nd ed.). New York: Teachers College Press. Shapiro, J. P. (2006). Ethical decision making in turbulent times: Bridging theory with practice to prepare authentic educational leaders. Values and Ethics in Educational Administration, 4(2), 1–7. Retrieved from http://csle.nipissingu.ca/VEEA/VEEA_Vol4Num2.pdf Shapiro, J. P., & Gross, S. J. (2007). Ethical educational leadership in turbulent times: (Re) solving moral dilemmas (1st ed., p. 224). New York: Routledge. Shapiro, J. P., Gross, S. J., & Shapiro, S. H. (2008). Ethical decisions in turbulent times. School Administrator, 65(5), 18–21. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=tfh&AN=31802612&site=ehost-live Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, 393 U.S. 503 (1969). U.S. Constitution. First Amendment.