The Workplace Disappearing Act

Type: Article
Topics: Ethics, School Administrator Magazine

May 01, 2023

Ethical Educator
Man and woman going on vacation cartoon

An entry-level district administrator does exemplary work. However, she is repeatedly late for work and misses one Friday a month for trips with her husband, later regaling colleagues with stories of their travel adventures. Her spouse, a high-level administrator in the same district, uses accrued vacation time. Her position does not earn vacation days, so she submits the Fridays as sick days, violating school district policy and affecting department morale. Her department head discusses the policy violation with her, and the HR director speaks to the spouse, but nothing changes. What should the department head do?

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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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