When faced with an ethical dilemma, school counselors and school counseling program directors/supervisors use an ethical decision-making model such as Solutions to Ethical Problems in Schools (STEPS) (Stone, 2001):
Define the problem emotionally and intellectually
Apply the ASCA Ethical Standards for School Counselors and the law
Consider the students’ chronological and developmental levels
Consider the setting, parental rights and minors’ rights
Apply the ethical principles of beneficence, autonomy, nonmaleficence, loyalty and justice
Determine potential courses of action and their consequences
Evaluate the selected action
Implement the course of action
You are a school counselor at a rural high school. You have been counseling a student, and he confided in you that one of his friends has recently engaged in sexual relations with one of the teacher’s daughters. (She is a friend of yours.) He does not divulge the name of the other student and refuses to talk any further about the issue.
Address the following:
What ethical considerations must be considered in this situation?
How does confidentiality affect your considerations and actions?
What options might you have to address the situation?
Ethically, since this is hearsay, are you legally obligated to address?
Using appropriate citations and references, explain how the empirical research, theoretical models, and ethical standards presented in the assigned resources suggest the importance of applying ethical decision-making strategies to scenarios such as these.
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