The ethical dimension of the superintendency in handling allegations of sexual misconduct
MetadataShow full item record
This study examines whether superintendents in Texas refer to their profession’s Code of Ethics as a guideline in addressing the ethical dilemma of educator sexual misconduct. Additionally, the study attempted to identify elements the superintendents may take into account in handling allegations of educator sexual misconduct and explored whether some of these elements and ultimate ethical decisions may contribute to the perpetuation of a mobile molester within the education field. To collect the data, eight superintendents were interviewed and state records and Commissioner’s decisions were reviewed. The literature review revealed there are few studies on the subject of educator sexual misconduct, however, there is an abundance of literature on ethics in educational leadership. The studies on ethics within the public sector have underscored the contention that public stewards/servants bear a higher standard of conduct in rendering ethical decisions. Superintendents are the public managers of our school districts and, as educational leaders, they set the tone and decorum for the rest of the organizational culture and practice. This study is significant because it documents instances of educators who chose not to report allegations of educator sexual misconduct. Furthermore, the study identifies some of the ethical frameworks that contributed to failure to report and the subsequent obfuscation of the misconduct. The data revealed that the participants did not refer to their Code of Ethics and that little value was placed on the instrument as a guide for determining a course of action in addressing allegations of educator sexual misconduct.