Ethics Policies and Education

Today’s educators face some of the most daunting workplace challenges. And administrators in charge of bringing realistic ethics policies to the classroom and throughout their districts are facing even tougher challenges. Policymakers recognize that any decisions they make and enforce can have lasting effects on students, families, and even the communities. Here’s what today’s education leaders are discussing with regard to the emerging field of educational ethics. And for those in education, now more than ever, the ethics hotline makes sense.

News Headlines Spurring Debates

Most districts already have ethics guidelines in place. But in recent years, controversial news headlines ranging from tuition bribery to sexual abuse have driven policymakers to re-evaluate their current practices and look for improvements to prevent similar violations. As your teams

collaborate about potential risks and establishing policy, be open about discussing these recent headlines and make sure your policies outline precise definitions, processes for reporting, and consequences for violations.

Ethics Policies for Teachers and Coaches

Much like any workplace environment, in education, you have administrative and executive level staff along with the frontline staff. As your district develops or improves ethics policies, take special consideration for how you determine ethical behavior at every level. Teachers and coaches, who regularly interact with students and families, may need additional support and resources. They’ll rely on your ethics guidance to take the guesswork out of how situations should be handled. And they should never have to face difficult decisions or engagements without a clear understanding of the district’s policies regarding ethics.

Education-Related Ethics Topics

Your district will outline key metrics and guidelines for behavior and ethical conduct. Here are a few topics considered to be the most common. So be sure to discuss them with your policymakers and administrators.

· Sexual harassment and sexual assault

· Fraud or misrepresentation

· Theft of assets and funds

· Data privacy

· Ethical communication and conduct

· Transportation risks

· Campus threats

· Student behavior

· Disciplinary action

Many Educators Are Turning to Ethics Hotlines

Despite their best efforts to remain connected to every level of their district, education leaders won’t be able to monitor or supervise every situation. And as an added layer of ethics oversight, many districts are turning to ethics hotlines. With an ethics hotline, everyone who interacts with your system, staff, parents, vendors, and students included, has a resource for anonymous reporting. Once an ethics hotline call has been initiated, you can follow up immediately with an investigation and policy enforcement efforts. Staying ahead and on top of potential concerning behavior will provide you with the lead time to react properly. And because ethics hotlines rely on anonymous reporting, everyone will feel safe and empowered about raising a red flag to potential violations within the district.

If your district is looking for better resources and tools for implementing ethics policies, consider adding an ethics hotline. And for help developing your ethics hotline strategy, including establishing reports and metrics, let Ethical Advocate be your guide! Our team can be the partner your education organization needs to improve how you manage ethics.