Q1 – Explain how you understand the following terms.
Unprofessional conduct can be defined as a lack in an individual’s knowledge or skills regarding their work. It basically means that the person does not have the ability to meet the standards that have been set up by that particular service, in this case teaching, i.e. he/she is not able to carry out their duties accordingly to their profession.
Unprofessional conduct is also concerned with an individual’s ethical behavior but regarding his/her work, this is mostly concerned with negligence or incompetence of a person. It basically views that whether the conduct of the person considered harmful and whether the conduct was intentional or not.
Immoral in layman terms can be defined as the behavior of an individual which is corrupt, bad, depraved or just unethical. Immoral behavior basically means that an individual is breaking the rules, i.e. the person is not following the ethical or moral principles of the society or the work place. It means that the person is deliberately breaking the rules which define right and wrong within the society. For example, a person knowing that he/she is participating in depraved behavior like the unconventional lifestyle regarding sexual behaviors like oral copulations. (Dive, 2004)
Lack of Fitness to Teach
Lack of fitness to teach basically means that the teacher does not have the ability to teach his/her students, for he/she might have bad faith or a lack of righteousness or propriety or how to behave in the classrooms, which might leave an impact on the personalities of the students. And if that teacher is not able to understand that fact that his/her behavior is not correct then he/she is consider unfit for teaching. A teacher is said to be unfit when he/she displays dishonorable or inconsistent or disgraceful characters which teaching. (Dive, 2004)
Q2 – Explain whether the Board of Education was justified in firing Pettit
Pettit was one of the most dedicated teachers in her profession, who worked with elementary school children with intellectual disabilities. She had been working with mentally disabled children for 13 years and not once was there a complain about her conduct with her students in class and she had always gotten a positive feedback from the school.
I believe that the Board of Education was unjust when they fired Pettit for her teaching service. Even though her behaviors were immoral (but in private), but they did not affect her ability to teach or show disgraceful characteristics while teaching, i.e. her immoral behavior had nothing to do with her students or teaching. Hence it was not justified at all by dismissing her from her job; it is no concern of the Board of Education to evaluate her behavior after the working hours, that whether she has Victorian principles. It is no where written that teacher have to behave in a proper manner in their private lives. I believe it was unethical on the part of the Board to pry into her private life and make assumptions her being not fit for teaching due to her private life and the way she behaved.
Q3 – Explain whether the court verdict was consistent with its earlier handling of the case of homosexual teacher.
The court’s verdict it seems that it is inconsistent with its earlier handling of the case regarding homosexual teacher and the case regarding the immoral behavior of Pettit. It can be seen that in the previous case the court had reversed the firing of the public school teacher by concluding that the teacher’s behavior cannot be considered immoral or even unprofessional due to his/her sexuality. The court even said that a teacher cannot be called unfit for teaching, until or unless there is no clear cut evidence that suggests that the teacher behaved immorally or even disgracefully, which might leave an influence on the students while conducting his/her class. (Dive, 2004)
Q4 – Explain under what conditions employers have a legitimate interest in their employee’s off – the – job conduct.
It is considered unethical if the employers pry into the interest of their employees on off-the-job. But there are some conditions that provide the employers a legitimate reason to look into the employee’s off-the-job conduct. For example, it is not legal if an employer asks his/her employees about their sex lives or the employer does not have the right to ask their employees about their religious acts (i.e. they are considered off limits under no circumstances). But then again there are some conditions under which the employer can take an interest are as follows:-
· Drug Usage: the employer can conduct a drug test to ensure that the employee does not take any form of illegal substance, why, because individuals who take drugs are not able to fulfill their work duties.
· Addiction to Alcohol: the employer can look into the employee’s addiction to alcohol, because an alcoholic is incapable of conducting his/her work duties and it would leave a negative effect in the working environment. An employer also has the right to look into an employee’s drunk driving reports, this would show that how the employee behaves when he/she get off and this behavior can be related to their work as well. (Dive, 2004)
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Dive, B (2004), The Healthy Organization: A Revolutionary Approach to People and Management. Kogan Page Publishers