Legal, Social, and Ethical Issues in Education in the 21st Century World
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Legal, Social, and Ethical Issues in Education in the 21st Century World
- Thinking back to your time in school, I’m sure you are familiarwith, or at least have heard of, plagiarism. Plagiarism is usingsomeone else’s ideas in your own work without properly givingcredit to the original owner of that idea.
- Here are a few basic tips to understand anddiscuss with your students to help themmaintain academic integrity in all of their work:
- Any quote directly copied from another source (book, magazine,website, etc.) is not your own work and therefore needs to be cited.
- Most articles and books are protected under copyright law -be mindful of documents with the copyright symbol (©) andfollow copyright guidelines.
- A common myth about copyright is “if it doesn’t have a copyright notice, it’s notcopyrighted”. If you are unsure, it is best to assume it is protected.
- How will your child’s teacheraddress copyright in the classroom?
- Teachers will inform students about plagiarism and teach them the proper way to cite their sources.
- Teachers will analyze all student work for instances of plagiarism,.
- In the case plagiarism does occur, students may lose points and/or fail an assignment due toacademic dishonesty depending on the policy of the school and classroom.
- Teachers will be mindful and understanding of the age of your child and adjust theirexpectations accordingly.
- Teachers will model and uphold academic integrity in their own lessons and work and follow copyright laws.
- Your child’s safety is of utmost important to educators. Whether itis concerning safety within the building, within the classroom,among other people, or on the internet, teachers make a consciouseffort everyday to make sure your child is in a safe learningenvironment.
- How will your child’s teacherkeep them safe?
- School buildings are equipped with locked doors that oftenrequire people to buzz to be let in.
- Security cameras are installed throughout the school to ensureyour child’s safety is monitor in the halls as well as in the classroom.
- Specifically regarding the internet:
- Firewalls are downloaded to all computers to prohibit teachersand students from accessing unauthorized websites/
- Student access on the internet is restricted further, often prohibiting the use of search engines like Google that could result in a number of inappropriate search results. Rather, students are often required to do their searches with approved educational search engines.
- Teachers emphasize the importance of anonymity on theinternet and strongly discourage students from posting anypersonal information on the internet.
- Bullying is no foreign topic. I’m sure every parent has either heard of, witnessed,or experienced bullying in their school experience and even into adulthood. Withtechnology, bullying now has another home: the internet. To help protect yourchild from cyberbullying, here are some signs and symptoms and tips forprevention:
- emotional and/or behavioralchanges
- lack of attention in school
- increase in absences
- lose interest in school work
- anxious, moody, etc.
- How to prevent it:
- Be open to your child about cyberbullying- make them feelsafe to confide in you and offer them comfort and supportshould a cyberbullying situation arise.
- Check your child’s personal social networking accounts regularly
- Make your child aware of the dangers of cyberbullying.
- Talk to your child about your own experience with bullying (ifyou have any). Knowing that everyone, even their parents, canbe hurt by bullying will help them feel less different/alienated.
- How will your child’s teacheraddress cyberbullying?
- Cyberbullying cases will beaddressed the same as any otherbullying incident.
- Teachers will emphasize thatbullying over the internet can bejust as hurtful as in-personbullying and instances ofcyberbullying will not be exemptfrom punishment.
- Teachers will emphasize theimportance of being kind topeers in and out of theclassroom.
- Any cyber bullying complaintfrom a student will be takenseriously and investigated fully.
- In the case that a studentconfides in a teacher aboutcyberbullying occurring outsideof school hours, they will treatthe incident as if it hadhappened within school hours.
Racial, Gender, and Socioeconomic Divide
- In education we try to ensure that all individuals, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, or socioeconomic status receives equal opportunities. Historically, the Caucasian, middle-class/upper class male has been the most successful. Thankfully, the United States has grown morally over the past century and education has changed with it, attempting to close the gap between minority and majority groups to ensure equal opportunities for all.
- How will your child’s teacher help to closethe gender. racial, and socioeconomicgap?
- Teachers will avoid makinggeneralizations about gender(i.e. holding all students up tothe same academicexpectations)
- Teachers will expose students toa variety of career paths andemphasizing the fact that allstudents are capable pursuingwhatever career they desire
- Schools are working to increasethe use of technology so allstudents, even those withoutaccess to technology at home,can be successful in the 21stcentury world.
- Teachers will be aware of theirclassroom climate and eliminateany gender, race, orsocioeconomicdiscrimination/stereotypeswitnessed among students inthe classroom.
- Teachers will build lessonsaround resources available in theschool and avoid requiring theuse of outside material as muchas possible so that all studentscan be successful.
- When you think of school, what comes to mind? Reading, writing, mathematics, science, and social studies? What about respect, integrity, honesty, and responsibility? In any social setting, even that of growing children, there are bound to be ethical issues that arise. It is the goal of your child's teachers, administrators, and guidance counselors to take these opportunities to teach students the ideal behaviors and dispositions of a moral individual.
- While your child’s teachers will try to instill these morals in all of their students,let it be clearly known that no teacher will ever offer nor try to impose upon yourchild his/her own personal beliefs in such controversial topics such as religion,sexual preference, abortion, etc. Though these topics may be visited in theclassroom, they will be viewed in a completely neutral, unbiased, and objectiveviewpoint.
- How will your child’s teacheraddress ethical issues?
- Teachers may discusscontroversial topics going on inthe world today but will addressthem in an unbiased, neutralway.
- Teachers will never disclose theirreligious beliefs in theclassroom.
- Teachers will not discriminateagainst any student on the basisof ethical beliefs.
- Teachers will create a friendly,unbiased classroomenvironment that welcomesdebate without pushing anypersonal beliefs on students.
- Teachers will model respect,honesty, and integrity in theclassroom and expect the samefrom all of their students.
- Every educator, administrator, and schooldistrict has legal obligations to follow to ensurethe safety and well-being of your child.
- Here of some of the major legalobligations to keep in mind:
- Rights under the constitution:
- 1st amendment: No teachershould read the Bible or anyother religious document inclass nor try to promote anyreligious beliefs.
- 4th amendment: no child can besearched without reasonablecause.
- No child can be discriminated against based on: Gender (Title XI)“Race, color, or national origin” (Title VI) (Garner, 2000, 7).Physical or mental disability (Education for All HandicappedChildren Act of 1975 (Public Law 94-142))
- Every teacher is legally obligated to report any signs of childabuse/neglect they observe, according to the NationalChild Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act of 1974 (Garner,2000).
- You as a parent have the right access certain educationalrecords of your student thanks to the Family EducationalRights and Privacy Act of 1972 (FERPA) or BuckleyAmendment.
- How will your child’s teacheruphold their legal obligations?
- Every student will be held to thesame expectations.
- Teachers will never discriminateagainst your student for anyreason.
- Teachers will keep parents wellinformed of what is going on inthe classroom and not denyparents the right to accesscertain educational records.
- Teachers will act as an educatorand moral role model but willnot share with nor press uponstudents’ their personal ethicalbeliefs.
- In the event that a teachersuspects any type of abuse orneglect, the teacher will report itto the administrator of theschool.