Although all professions have a code of ethics, some professions are more strictly regulated. Teachers, doctors and police officers are examples of this. Some codes differ slightly, but there is a model code of ethics for educators.
Recognized Code of Ethics
- Shouldn’t restrain students from acting independently while learning
- Should allow students to view, read and learn various viewpoints
- Shouldn’t distort or withhold subjects relevant to student’s learning
- Should protect students from harm
- Shouldn’t embarrass, ridicule or otherwise berate students
- Shouldn’t discriminate
- Should obey a moral code of ethics
These are the basics of the teacher’s code of ethics, but schools, districts and states can add to it or change it if they feel it is necessary.
A teacher can be dismissed or sued if the teacher violates this code of ethics. Dismissal for code violations is relatively routine unless the code itself goes against the rights of a teacher. For instance, a portion of a school code that forces a teacher to discriminate against a particular student would be unfair. In this case, a teacher can sue the school for wrongful termination.
These cases are why schools need to have a solid code of ethics and insurance against lawsuits of this nature. These lawsuits can cost a school, district or teacher thousands even if they are unjustified.