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Educational Law

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  • 1. THE
    BOUNDARY
    EDUCATIONAL ETHICS AND LAW
    TEACHER CHARGED: SEXUAL EXPLOITATION
    Under the Criminal Code, no one is allowed to have a sexual relationship with anyone under 18 years old if they are in a position of trust or authority "and certainly any teacher would follow under that description," said Duncan.
    A young person at that age is "at an obvious stage in their emotional development" where they would be vulnerable to "friendly behaviour and given a degree of affection would fall into a position where they would develop an emotional attachment with a teacher as somebody in a position of authority.“ (Powell et al.)
    Toronto police have charged Paola Queen, a 35-year-old teacher at Nelson A. Boylen Collegiate Institute, with one count of sexual exploitation after they received a Crime Stoppers tip earlier this month about an alleged inappropriate relationship between a high school teacher and a student.
    Police allege Queen began a romantic and sexual relationship with the teen not long after she started teaching at the school in September 2005, "one that has continued, to our knowledge, to the present time," said Duncan, of 31 Division.
  • 2. TEACHER-STUDENT BOUNDARIES
    Tuesday March 3, 2009 boundary.com
    KEY ETHICAL and LEGAL TERMS
    Fiduciary Relationship
    “A special relationship in which one person [voluntarily] accepts the trust and confidence of another to act in the latter’s best interest. In such a relationship, the parties do not deal on equal terms”(Plaut, 1993, p.212)
    Position of Authority
    The “legal right to control another person’s activities” which “includes the power that arises simply by virtue of the unequal status between teacher and student” (Crook and Truscott, 2007, p.90).
    Position of Trust
    A belief in the reliability, truth and strength of the teacher, which is held by the student who is vulnerable to the teachers influence and persuasiveness. (Crook and Truscott, 2007, p.90)
  • 3. THE BOUNDARY
    TEACHER-STUDENT BOUNDARIES
    ~ Tuesday March 3, 2009 ~ boundary.com
    THE PROFESSIONAL RELATIONSHIP and BOUNDARIES
    Why boundaries are needed?
    • Boundaries are designed to ensure students and the community are protected from harm. (Crook and Truscott, 2007 p.84)
    • 4. Teachers have a “socially sanctioned authority” (Crook and Truscott, 2007 p.84) over students.
    • 5. All interactions between teachers and students must be in the BEST interest of the STUDENT.
    • 6. Boundaries are established and maintained in an effort to bring integrity and professionalism to the “job” of teaching.
  • THE BOUNDARY
    TEACHER-STUDENT BOUNDARIES
    ~ Tuesday March 3, 2009 ~ boundary.com
    THE PROFESSIONAL RELATIONSHIP and BOUNDARIES
    Multiple Relationships
    These relationships are dangerous and should be “avoided whenever possible because the expectations of one role may be incompatible and interfere with the other [role], resulting in harm to the student.” (Crook and Truscott 2007, pg. 85)
    Students may be unable to understand the different roles that a teacher plays in each of the different environments.
    Teachers are responsible for separating the in-school relationship from the out-of-school interactions.
  • 7. THE BOUNDARY
    TEACHER-STUDENT BOUNDARIES
    ~ Tuesday March 3, 2009 ~ boundary.com
    THE PROFESSIONAL RELATIONSHIP and BOUNDARIES
    Examples of Multiple Relationships in…
    THE GLOBAL COMMUNITY
    • Associations and Fan Clubs
    • 8. Activist groups
    • 9. Online social networking
    • 10. Online blogging
    • 11. Online forums
    THE LOCAL COMMUNITY
    • Church Groups
    • 12. Recreational Sports
    • 13. Volunteer work
    • 14. Support Groups
    • 15. Neighbours/Friends
    • 16. Students as Babysitters
    Teaching in a rural area usually results in more multiple relationships than teaching in urban areas
  • 17. THE BOUNDARY
    TEACHER-STUDENT BOUNDARIES
    ~ Tuesday March 3, 2009 ~ boundary.com
    THE SEXUAL RELATIONSHIP
    Activities that may establish a sexual relationship
    (according to the Ontario College of Teachers 2009 members handbook)
    • Any form of sexual touching
    • 18. Sending intimate letters to students
    • 19. Making telephone calls of a personal nature to students
    • 20. Engaging in sexual dialogue through the internet or in person with the student
    • 21. Making suggestive comments to a student
    • 22. Dating a student
    Between a teacher and student “an unequal balance of power and influence” exists, therefore “it is impossible for a student to give any meaningful consent to any sexual involvement” (Crook and Truscott 2007, p.89)
    NEVER ENGAGE IN A SEXUAL RELATIONSHIP WITH A STUDENT!
  • 23. THE BOUNDARY
    TEACHER-STUDENT BOUNDARIES
    ~ Tuesday March 3, 2009 ~ boundary.com
    KEY ETHICAL and LEGAL TERMS
    in loco parentis
    Black’s Law Dictionary, 6th Edition
    “In place of the parent; charged factitiously, with a parent’s rights, duties and responsibilities”
    Breach of Trust
    An infraction of the trustee’s (teacher’s) fiduciary obligation towards the client (student).
    Supreme Court of Canada M(K) v M(H)[1992]
    “A father [in loco parentis?] was found to have breached his fiduciary obligation to his child by sexually abusing her” (Birks, 2002, p.246)
    Education Act Reg.97-150 section 25(1)e
    “A teacher shall practice such discipline as may be exercised by a kind, firm and judicious parent in his or her family…”(Gagné, 2000, p.5)
  • 24. THE BOUNDARY
    TEACHER-STUDENT BOUNDARIES
    ~ Tuesday March 3, 2009 ~ boundary.com
    KEY ETHICAL and LEGAL TERMS
    Ethos of Care
    The character, sentiment, or disposition of a community or people that embody and promote kindness, care, respect, trust, justice, and equity for all.
  • 25. THE BOUNDARY
    TEACHER-STUDENT BOUNDARIES
    ~ Tuesday March 3, 2009 ~ boundary.com
    IMPLICATIONS FOR TEACHERS
    Do…
    • Ensure students are aware of student/teacher boundaries
    • 26. Be aware of situations that jeopardize the teacher/student boundary and redirect interactions to a more appropriate relationship
    • 27. Be careful when using self-disclosure as an effective teaching strategy
    • 28. Discourage and distance yourself from students that become infatuated
    • 29. Realize that a teachers responsibility to the parent is independent of the teachers responsibility to the student
    Avoid…
    • Tutoring your own students for pay
    • 30. Meddling in the affairs of a student outside your professional duties
    • 31. Hiring a student as a babysitter
    • 32. Situations of gift giving between students and teachers
    • 33. Socializing with students outside of school sanctioned events
    • 34. Situations of self disclosure
    Self Disclosure
    Storytelling and recollections that are informative or illustrative can be used as an effective teaching strategy.
    However, discussions of current personal problems or fantasies, sexual practices or feelings and gossip MUST be avoided.
  • 35. THE BOUNDARY
    TEACHER-STUDENT BOUNDARIES
    ~ Tuesday March 3, 2009 ~ boundary.com
    Case Study:Matthew and Ms. Davidson
  • 36. THE BOUNDARY
    TEACHER-STUDENT BOUNDARIES
    ~ Tuesday March 3, 2009 ~ boundary.com
    “THE HALLWAY”
  • 37. THE BOUNDARY
    TEACHER-STUDENT BOUNDARIES
    ~ Tuesday March 3, 2009 ~ boundary.com
    Case Study:Matthew and Ms. Davidson
    How did Ms. Davidson deviate from her professional role, if at all?
    What could she have done differently to maintain greater professionalism?
  • 38. THE
    BROILER
    EDUCATIONAL ETHICS AND LAW
    CATHOLIC BOARD BANS GOLDEN COMPASS STORY
    The books, a trilogy by British author Philip Pullman — an avowed atheist — have come to the fore since the recent release of the film The Golden Compass, which stars Nicole Kidman. “[Pullman] is very definitely against religion, against God,” said LeMay. “Is this what we want to teach the kids?”
    Following complaints from parents, the book committee for the Halton board,  which oversees about 45 elementary and secondary schools in the southern Ontario towns of Oakville, Burlington, Milton and Halton Hills, had originally found the books suitable for Grades 7 and up. But the board overruled that decision Tuesday night.
    “There are other books that we can use to teach [students] critical thinking,” LeMay said Thursday. Earlier this month, Calgary’s Catholic school board also banned the book. (Darby Shire, 2007)
    The Halton Catholic School Board has pulled The Golden Compass and two other related books from its libraries after board officials deemed their content was “not something that we feel is appropriate.”
    Alice Anne LeMay, the board’s chair said: “If parents chose these books for their children, that’s fine, but the board felt the series of books did not have a place in our schools’ libraries.”
  • 39. CONTROVERSY IN THE CLASSROOM
    Tuesday March 3, 2009 broiler.com
    Controversy
    Academic Controversy
    the instructional use of intellectual conflict to promote higher achievement and increase the quality of problem solving, decision making, critical thinking, reasoning, interpersonal relationships, and psychological health and well-being. To engage in an academic controversy students must research and prepare a position, present and advocate their position, refute opposing positions and rebut attacks on their own position, reverse perspectives, and create a synthesis that everyone can agree to.
    A social event as evidenced by people disagreeing about facts and conclusions on a given issue (Crook & Truscott, 2007 p.130)
    Issues that are sensitive and thus are likely to arouse strong feelings on the part of students, their parents, and perhaps other teachers (Crook & Truscott, 2007, p.130)
  • 40. CONTROVERSY IN THE CLASSROOM
    THE BROILER
    ~ Tuesday March 3, 2009 ~ broiler.com
    CONTROVERSY
    (n)  The action of disputing or contending one with another; dispute, debate, contention; (OED)
    Examples:
    Controversial Teaching Methods
    • Focuses more on HOW subject is taught rather than what is taught
    • 41. Keep in mind that the courts have determined that a teacher’s freedom of speech within a classroom could (in theory) be restricted (Crook & Truscott, 2007, p.139)
    • 42. Using faith based materials in public schools
    • 43. Using scenes with profanity and sex in drama sketches
  • CONTROVERSY IN THE CLASSROOM
    THE BROILER
    ~ Tuesday March 3, 2009 ~ broiler.com
    IMPLICATIONS FOR TEACHERS
    When Engaging with Controversial Subjects, Teachers Must…
    • Respect others views and opinions on controversial subjects
    • 44. Base personal views on logic and reason not emotion
    • 45. Attempt to effect positive change in the community (classroom, town, school, etc.)
    • 46. Promote critical thinking
    • 47. Advance the students knowledge of the subject
    “A good teacher is one who instructs while a great teacher is one who reforms” (Crook &Truscott 2007, p.131-132)
  • 48. CONTROVERSY IN THE CLASSROOM
    THE BROILER
    ~ Tuesday March 3, 2009 ~ broiler.com
    BANNED!
    J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
    2000—The Durham (ON) Board of Education received numerous complaints about the immensely popular Harry Potter books being read in classrooms throughout the board’s schools. A school board official said that the complaints came from fundamentalist Christian parents.
  • 49. CONTROVERSY IN THE CLASSROOM
    THE BROILER
    ~ Tuesday March 3, 2009 ~ broiler.com
    To the Editor:
    Children desperately need such books in school libraries, just as much as they need nutritious food in school lunches. The essential element is the inspiring depiction of a boy's triumphant struggles… who discovers he has a rare talent and works hard to develop it. In the course of his education, he learns to think for himself, to be honest and to be self-confident. He finds friends who share his values and he earns the respect of his teachers. He battles the class bully as well as the most evil wizard on earth, and we rejoice when, with considerable effort and courage, Harry prevails.
    What is the educational value of this? A child needs to learn concrete facts, of course, but that is not enough. In order to organize and utilize such facts, a child urgently needs as a framework a basic, abstract view of life and he needs it in the
    form, not of an abstruse treatise, but of a concise, easily graspable presentation.
    This is what literature provides. Every children's story implicitly addresses such broad questions as: Is the world fundamentally a benevolent or a malevolent place? Can one rely on one's own mind or not? Is life to be eagerly embraced or fearfully skirted? Can the good succeed or does evil ultimately win?
  • 50. CONTROVERSY IN THE CLASSROOM
    THE BROILER
    ~ Tuesday March 3, 2009 ~ broiler.com
    The Harry Potter series appeals to so many children (and, incidentally, adults) because the answers it gives to these questions are overwhelmingly positive. It shows a world in which happiness can be achieved, villains can be defeated, and the means of success can be learned.
    The books are, in short, fuel for a child's maturing mind. As vitamins and minerals are essential to a child's healthy physical development, so literature with this view of the
    world is essential to a child's healthy mental development.
    It is a story's abstract meaning, not its physical setting, that influences the reader. What crucial need does the Harry Potter series fill? In a culture where cynicism is too often the dominant note, it provides a reminder that life is good that it is challenging and full of exciting possibilities.
    Ban Harry Potter? We ought to make certain every school library has copies.
    Dianne L. Durante [from the] Ayn Rand Institute
  • 51. CONTROVERSY IN THE CLASSROOM
    THE BROILER
    ~ Tuesday March 3, 2009 ~ broiler.com
    THINGS TO PONDER
    Is it possible to remain objective when dealing with controversial issues?
    How can you use controversial teaching methods to the benefit of your students?
  • 52. BACK MATTER
    Tuesday March 3, 2009 boundary.com
    POWER AND ITS UNEQUAL DISTIBUTION
    Classroom Controversy
    Teacher-Student Relationships
    EDUCATOR = POWERFUL
    EDUCATOR = POWERFUL?
    • Expert knowledge
    • 53. Maturity
    • 54. Life experience
    • 55. Control over children
    • 56. Ensure that you communicate with your principal about the issue you want to teach and how you want to engage with it
    • 57. Understand what will be acceptable to the community
    • 58. Present the issue objectively
    • 59. Illustrate issues that have many perspectives
    STUDENT = VULNERABLE
    • Require guidance and support
    • 60. Immature
    • 61. Inexperienced
    • 62. Relinquish control
    STUDENT = VULNERABLE?
    BOUNDARIES
    “Boundaries indentify the parameters of the professional relationship and control the power differential”
    • Require guidance and support to learn to think critically
  • SOURCES IN THIS ISSUE
    Tuesday March 3, 2009 boundary.com
    Angelina. (2007). Teacher/Student Relationships. Retrieved 02 08, 2009, from My Space: http://tinyurl.com/d7aq9j
    Birks, Peter et al. (2002). Breach of Trust. Oxford: Hart Publishing.
    British Columbia College of Teachers. (2008). Keeping You and Your Students Safe: Protecting the Boundaries of the Professional Relationship [Motion Picture]. Canada.
    Crook, Kenneth and Derek Truscott. (2007). Ethics and Law For Teachers. Toronto: Nelson.
    Darby Shire, Peter. (2007). Catholic School Board Bans Golden Compass Trilogy. Retrieved 02 25, 2009 from The Province at http://communities.canada.com/theprovince/blogs/readthis/archive/2007/12/20/catholic-school-board-bans-golden-compass-trilogy.aspx
    Durante, Dianne L. Banning Books Not Good For School Leaning. Retrieved 02 25, 2009 from The University of New Brunswick Opinions and Editorials http://www.unb.ca/bruns/9900/issue22/oped/letter2.html
    Flynn, Roderick C. (2001). An Educator’s Guide to Employment Law. Aurora, Ontario: Canada Law Book.
    Freedom to Read Kit 2004 — Challenged Books List accessed February 26, 2009. http://www.connexions.org/CxLibrary/Docs/CX5298-ChallengedBooks.pdf
    Jamieson, Joe. (2007). Where was that line? Maintaining Professional Boundaries with Students. Retrieved 02 28, 2009, from Professional Speaking : http://www.oct.ca/publications/professionally_speaking/june_2007/professional_boundries.asp
    Johnson, David and Roger. (2008). Academic Controversy. Retrieved 02 12, 2009, from The Cooperative Learning Centre at the University of Minnesota: http://www.co-operation.org/pages/academic.html
    Plaut, S. M. (1993). Boundary Issues in Teacher-Student Relationships. The Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy , 210-219.
    Powell, Betsy and Kristin Rushowy. (2007). Teacher Accused of Sex with Student. Retrieved 02 08, 2009, from The Toronto Star: http://www.thestar.com/article/190380

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