Romantic Entanglements

Type: Article
Topics: Ethics, School Administrator Magazine

January 01, 2023

Ethical Educator
Romantic entanglements ethics

A female superintendent in one school district ends a romantic relationship with a male superintendent in a school district an hour away in the same state. During their relationship, he reveals, before dating her, that he had sexual relationships with two women who served under him as administrators in his direct chain of command. Because knowledge of those relationships could lead to disciplinary action by his school board, he asks her to keep them secret. That request weighs heavily and she struggles to reconcile her responsibility to preserve his confidentiality with her duty to reveal information that might help protect other women.

How ought she respond?

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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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