In the classroom there is responsibility and duties for the teachers, students, as well as the parents. These responsibilities help the classroom to run smoothly and they help to build a well-managed classroom. Of those responsibilities teachers, students and parents need to understand legal and ethical issues in classroom management. This paper will discuss two articles and address the legal and ethical issues for classroom management. It will address how the articles relate to the rights and responsibilities of students, teachers, as well as the parents. Lastly, I will discuss how each article will make a difference in the way I will manage my classroom in the future. Article One: Untangling Legal Issues that Affect Teachers and Student Teachers This article discussed legal issues and focused on child abuse, safety in the art room, freedom of expression and religion, and special education and how these topics affects art teachers as well as student teachers. From the article I learned that the Tenth, First, and Fourteenth Amendments hold significance for educational law in the United States. Next, from the article I read that it is required by law that a teacher reports child abuse.
The article defined child abuse as a non-accidental, patterns of injuries, sexual abuse, neglecting treatment, physical or mental injuries, or mistreatment of a child under the age of eighteen (Untangling Legal Issues that Affect Teachers and Student Teachers, 2009, page 48). Child abuse is a federal crime and teachers could be held responsible if they don’t report it. If it is not reported a teacher can receive a misdemeanor and the penalty could range from spending time in jail to being fined. Safety in the art room is another topic discussed in this article. From the article I learned that a teacher could be held liable for injuries if the injuries are found to be negligent. An example of a negligent injury is teacher not demonstrating to students the proper care and handling of materials and tools. Art teachers should not assume that materials are safe and they should send out permission forms that let parents know what material students will be working with, have parents lists their contact information, and any know allergies the child may have. The article states that the art room should be set up properly, hazardous materials should be labeled, and teachers should lock up hazardous materials. This article discusses how children with exceptional needs cannot be excluded public education. Also, I read in the article about freedom of religion and how teachers cannot preach their beliefs in school nor have religious conversations with student and I read how students have freedom of expression but it is the art teacher responsibility to make sure the students art work is displayed in a way that is appropriate. Then the article goes into detail to discuss the liability of student teachers. From the article I read that student teachers are responsible for the same duties as full time teachers and the liability is the same as also. After reading this article it has impacted how I will manage my class. It made me realize how important it is to get to know all of my student and their parents, how to pay careful attention to my students, how to set my classroom up appropriately, and make sure I demonstrate how to use materials appropriately. It definitely made me realize the importance of freedom of expression and religion. I will respect all my students and never try to force my religion on them. Also, I will report child abuse if I see it. I didn’t realize how important all these things were but this article made me aware and my outlook on classroom management is differently. When managing my classroom I will make sure it incorporates all these things like freedom of expression, religion, and I will make sure the classroom is set up in a way that I am able to monitor my students for things like child abuse and to make sure they use certain materials appropriately. Article Two: Using Time-Out Effectively in the Classroom
In this article it discusses how to use time out effectively and how it could lead to legal problems if used ineffectively. From the article, time out is defined as a procedure or form of punishment where students are denied access to all opportunities for reinforcement and it is used when inappropriate behavior is displayed (Using Time Out Effectively in the Classroom, 2007, page 60). Time-out has been used by many teachers to address inappropriate behaviors in the classroom. There are four different types of time-out and they are: inclusion time-out, exclusion time-out, seclusion time-out, and restrained time-out (Using Time-Out Effectively in the Classroom, 2007). Inclusion time-out involves removing the reinforcement from the student. Some variations that involved in this type of time-out are ignoring and removal of materials. Exclusion time-out is when the student is removed from the enhancing setting that caused the behavior. Exclusion time- out requires a student to be removed from instructional activities. Restrained time-out which is the most preventive form of time-out requires both a restraint and restriction. Restrained time-out is when the teacher places the student into a time-out position and maintains the student and position using physical restraint (Using Time Out Effectively in the Classroom, 2007, page 62). Isolation time- out better known as Seclusion time-out involves the teacher removing the student from the classroom and places them in a room or assigned area where he or she is restricted from leaving until they serve their time in this area. From the article I read that time-out becomes ineffective when typical pitfalls include classroom environments that are insufficiently reinforcing to the students or when time-out procedures lose their punishing qualities and take on reinforcing qualities (Using Time-Out Effectively in the Classroom, 2007, page 62). Also, I read over some recommendations on how to make the classroom reinforcing, use effective teaching strategies, how to come up with a time-out plan, and how to develop a hierarchical behavior management plan. I learned that we as teachers should be trained in methods of controlling behaviors. I learned some ways time-out is used inappropriately. For example, a teacher used it for a mild behavior. By doing this it could result to legal problems. After reading this article it has definitely changed my view on how I will manage my class in the future. When I manage my class, I plan to apply time-out effectively and use it in a way that is appropriate and will reduce the misbehavior within the student. Next, I will make sure I develop a hierarchical behavior management plan as well as a time-out plan so that the behavior and time-out is managed properly. Next, I will document when I use time- out which includes important information like the student name, date, behavior, duration, etc. By doing this, this can assist staff in determining if time-out was effective and this could reduce chances of legal problems. I will make sure I establish a time out policy
and I will go over this policy with my students on the first day of school and send a copy home to the parents to make sure they understand the time-out policy. Conclusion
There are many responsibilities for parents, teachers, and students when it comes to managing a classroom. Teachers need to make sure they take the proper precautions and follow the state laws and schools policies when managing a classroom, and students need to make sure they understand the rules, policies, and procedures in the classroom. Also, parents need to be notified of these rules, policies, and procedures. Understanding and communication needs to co-exist between parents, students, and teachers so that legal and ethical issues don’t arise.
Bain, C. (2009). Untangling legal issues that affect teachers and student teachers. Art Education: TX. Katsiyannis, A., Ryan, J., Sanders, S., & Yell, M. (2007). Using time-out effectively in the classroom. Teaching Exceptional Children 39(4), 60-67.