Building an Ethical School

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When reflecting on what I have read in the book Building an Ethical School by Robert J. Starratt, and the information obtained from my current Ethics and Social Responsibilities class, I feel I have an abundance of valuable information that will guide me in creating an ethical school environment when I am a school leader.

When I think of an ethical school, I envision a school where all members of the school make decisions based on what is right and good. I read once in an article that real leaders concentrate on doing the right thing, not on doing things right. I believe this. If a leader comes to a decision doing the "right" thing, they are also usually doing things right. Having a responsibility to everyone involved in the school community, it is often not clear what is right or wrong or which perspective is right. This is the struggle that school leaders encounter on a daily basis. As the leader of a school, it will be my responsibility to ensure that all students have the opportunity for a quality education in a safe learning environment. In meeting this responsibility, I feel that it is imperative to not only be concerned with the academics of a school, but to also focus on the creation or sustaining of a school that is ethical. When talking about being the leader of an ethical school, I am talking about being the leader of a school where the administration, teaching staff, clerical & custodial staff, students and parents engage in ethical behavior on a consistent base. Their ethics should be the principles that guide them in making the right or proper decisions.

In the creating of an ethical school, it is the responsibility of the principal to be the focal point of ethical decision making. If the principal acts in an ethical manner there will most likely be a "trickle down effect" causing those under him/her to also act ethically. The principal must ensure that his/her assistant principals are acting ethically and that they are ensuring that...
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