Workplace Ethics

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Case9.1: Unprofessional Conduct?

Doyou believe the Board of Education violated her right to privacy?Were they justified in firing her? Explain two to three (2-3) majorreasons why or why not.

Employeesshould enjoy the right to their private life. The conditions set inthe workplace are supposed to be respected fully, but not to theextent of restricting a worker to enjoy his/her out-of-workenvironments. Every individual should be allowed to take pleasure inhis/her private interests. In the case under consideration, I believethe Board of Education violated the right to privacy for Mrs. Pettit.This is because it did not have an issue to present concerning themisconduct of the teacher while she was on duty however, they usedout-of-work contexts to judge her conduct.

TheBoard of Education was not justified in firing Pettit because she hadnever been found to be incompetent in teaching for over 13 years(Shaw, 2016 p.352). Indeed, the Board found no reason to complainconcerning the services that she provided as a teacher and agreedthat the tutor was unlikely to repeat her sexual misconduct. Also, itcan be argued that there was no justification in firing Pettitbecause she did not conduct herself unprofessionally during theperformance of her duty and there was no indicator ofunprofessionalism. Furthermore, there was no validation to revoke herlicense since the actions she was engaged in constituted her personalinterests, and did no harm by doing it privately.

WasPettit’s behavior unprofessional or immoral? Do you believe she wasunfit to teach? Provide a rationale for your position.

Unprofessionalismrelates to engaging in something that is against the provided code ofa line of work while immorality entails being involved in acts thatmay attract the reasoning of either being right or wrong. The conductof Pettit can be categorized as immoral rather than unprofessional.This is because her behavior involved being engaged in fellatioactivity, which may be defined as desirable or undesirable dependingon the moral codes of a society or community (Shaw, 2016 p.352). Theact was not unprofessional since it did not target the work ethics ofteaching, which was the job of Pettit.

Ibelieve Pettit was fit for teaching due to the following reasonsone, she was involved in the teaching profession for more than13years and had not even on a single day went against the workguidelines for teaching. From the case study, her competence hadnever been questioned, which implies that she fit well as a tutor.Another reason is that evaluations from her school principal wereindicated to be positive all the time. Since the head teacher hasdifferent ways of knowing a proficient educator, it can be arguedthat Pettit was an expert in schooling because there were affirmativeresults from evaluations done by her head throughout her career.Furthermore, it can be claimed that Pettit was fit for her professionsince the school district renewed her working contract after she wasarrested and charged with oral copulation (Shaw, 2016 p.352). If theschool did not see her competence in the profession, it could nothave restored her to the job. In addition, from the case study, it isindicated that the Board of Education had no reason to complainconcerning her services as a tutor, which translates to being anexpert in the field.

Ifteachers have good performance inside the classroom, should they alsobe held to a higher moral standard outside the classroom? Explain whyor why not.

Teachershave to go by the rules that are put forward by experts involved insetting schooling performance. This is central to ensure thatlearners achieve the best in schools and become responsibleindividuals in society. Thus, when in a classroom setting, tutorshave to make sure that they conduct themselves in accordance with theprofession ethics that guide teaching. However, when outside theclassroom, it would be hard to set the moral standards that theyshould maintain. This is because, whether something can becategorized as right or wrong is usually determined by the culture orcommunity of a person (Krebs,2011 p.24).Thus, individual teachers are likely to have different moral codesdepending on their constituent groups that they fit in society.Therefore, an action that may be viewed as wrong in the classroomenvironment may be perceived as right outside the learningenvironment. For this reason, it would be difficult to expect tutorsto have high moral standards out of the work setting.

Besides,teachers should not be held to high moral standards when outside theclassroom environment because, when not in school, they have someother interests which make them belong to different groups. Thesegroups may have their definition of morality for certain actions,which may tend to contradict the standards set by schools.

Analyzefive (5) behaviors you believe would show unprofessional or immoralconduct for a teacher

Oneof the manners that I think would depict unprofessional conduct for atutor is inappropriate dressing code (Clarke,2016 p.36).Educators need to be smartly dressed, where they do not exposesensitive parts of their body, a move that may seem suggestive. Forinstance, the clothes worn by female trainers should not be tooshort. Another conduct entails entering the classroom setting whileunder the influence of drugs or alcohol. In case an educator entersthe learning environment after using drugs, it would be deemed asunprofessional because he/she would not be in a position to performhis/her duties well. Besides, the use of vulgar language beforelearners or colleagues, in the learning environment, would constitutean immoral conduct (Clarke,2016 p.35).When a teacher applies rude words to communicate to other educatorsor scholars, it would be a wrong action since he/she would beinstilling bad habits to the students, which is against the workethics for training. Furthermore, another deed that can becategorized as immoral for a trainer entails engaging in sexualactivities with learners. An instructor is supposed to be at theforefront in guiding the scholars on matters that relate to theworld. Therefore, it would be immoral to involve students in sexualactivities because it set a bad example to them. For instance, incase the scholars are minors, the engagement of an educator in sexualactivities with learners may be perceived as sexual molestation,which is both unprofessional and immoral (Clarke,2016 p.36).In addition, a tutor is supposed to award grades based on theevaluation and performance of scholars. Thus, it would be viewed togo against the profession if a teacher offers ranks to learnersfreely without assessing them. This may be classified as anunprofessional activity because it would end up spoiling thescholars.

Inconclusion, from the case study, it can be indicated that Pettit’slicense was not supposed to be revoked by the Board since her actionsdid not go against the professional codes of teaching. Herinvolvement in oral copulation was personal and did not in any waycontradict her work ethics. Every individual should be allowed totake pleasure in his/her private interests. In the case underconsideration, I believe the Board of Education violated the right toprivacy for Mrs. Pettit because it did not have an issue to presentconcerning the misconduct of the teacher. The conduct of Pettit canbe categorized as immoral rather than unprofessional. This is becauseher behavior involved being engaged in fellatio activity, which maybe defined as desirable or undesirable depending on the moral codesof society.


Clarke,L. (2016). Teacherstatus and professional learning: The place model.Northwich: Critical Publishing.

Krebs,D. (2011). TheOrigins of Morality: An Evolutionary Account.Oxford: Oxford University Press, USA.

Shaw,H.W. (2016). BusinessEthics.New York: Cengage Learning.

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