Kentucky School Leader - Spring/Summer 2013 - (Page 8)

FEATURE The Code of Ethics By: Alicia Sneed, Director of Legal Services Education Professional Standards Board U nbelievably, Kentucky’s Professional Code of Ethics for Kentucky Certified School Personnel is not quite old enough to vote…yet. The code, enacted on May 4, 1995, and currently promulgated as 16 Kentucky Administrative Regulation (KAR) 1:020, is a set of three aspirational goals and 21 tenets which direct all certified educators in the performance of their duties. Currently, all educator preparation institutions in Kentucky are required to educate their candidates on the Code of Ethics. Unfortunately, educators do not have many professional opportunities to study those ethical requirements once they begin to practice. All certified educators in the Commonwealth of Kentucky are required to comply with the Professional Code of Ethics whether they are one of the 174 superintendents, 2000+ principals or 40,000+ practicing classroom teachers. Every certified educator affirms that he or she has read the code when applying for certification, but do all educators understand how to apply the ethical precepts to their practice? The Professional Code of Ethics, which is divided into duties to students, parents and the profession, is a wonderful starting place to learn about professional conduct, but educators also need to discuss its application to not only avoid disciplinary action, but to enhance their area of practice. A classroom teacher, a building principal or a district administrator who understands how to implement the Professional Code of Ethics is simply a more effective educator. The first eight directives of the code concern students. In addition to providing a student with professional education services, an educator is required to respect students’ constitutional rights, to protect them from physical and emotional harm, to keep the information learned during the course of professional service about them confidential, to not lie about them, to not embarrass or 8 • Kentucky School Leader Spring | Summer 2013 disparage them and to maintain a professional approach with them. Maintaining a professional approach with students also includes not engaging in sexually related behavior with them. The code also requires an educator to “not use professional relationships or authority with students for personal advantage.” The second set of seven duties concerns parents, and the first and arguably most important duty an educator has to a parent is to communicate with him or her “information which should be revealed in the interest of the student.” The other six duties to parents read together are a reminder to educators that

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Kentucky School Leader - Spring/Summer 2013

Note from the Editor
Smart Decisions and Techno-fear: Evaluating Equity, Cyber-Bullying and Awareness
The Code of Ethics Turns 18
Golden Rule is Cornerstone of Ethical Leadership
Use of Restraint and Seclusion in Public Schools
President's View: Feedback for Teachers Inside and Out of the Classroom
Diapers to Diplomas: A Marriage of Career Readiness and Early Childhood Development
From the Executive Director's Desk: The Shifting Landscape of Education Law
Advertiser Index

Kentucky School Leader - Spring/Summer 2013