The Wisecrack Better Left Unsaid

Type: Article
Topics: Ethics, School Administrator Magazine

February 01, 2023

Ethical Educator
Ethics sketch, jester and other man laughing, two people cringing

In a staff meeting involving several dozen administrators from across the school district, an outside consultant with several years of work with the district made a sexist comment as a joke that was witty but unquestionably inappropriate. Many at the meeting groaned in disbelief, while two of the administrators laughed out loud. The consultant was suspended by human resources, in consultation with the superintendent.

The superintendent wonders if he ought also to discipline the two male administrators who laughed out loud at the comment?

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The Ethical Educator panel consists of 

  • Sheldon H. Berman, AASA lead superintendent, Redmond, Ore.;
  • Roark Horn, the Pomerantz endowed professor in educational excellence, University of Northern Iowa;
  • Chris Nicastro, former Missouri commissioner of education; and 
  • Maria G. Ott, Irving R. and Virginia A. Melbo chair in education administration, University of Southern California.

Each month, School Administrator draws on actual circumstances to raise an ethical decision-making dilemma in K-12 education. Our distinguished panelists provide their own resolutions to each dilemma.

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