Unprofessional Conduct


Case 9.1: Unprofessional Conduct?
Located on page 342 of your textbook (Business Ethics- A Text book with cases; SHAW 8th Edition 2014)

Do you believe the Board of Education violated her right to privacy? Were they justified in firing her? Explain two to three (2-3) major reasons why or why not.
Was Pettit’s behavior unprofessional or immoral? Do you believe she was unfit to teach? Provide a rationale for your position.
If teachers have good performance inside the classroom, should they also be held to a higher moral standard outside the classroom? Explain why or why not.
Analyze five (5) behaviors you believe would show unprofessional or immoral conduct for a teacher.

Write a four to six (4-6) page paper in which you:

Analyze the questions associated with your chosen case study and discuss them using concepts you learned in this course.
Explain your rationale for each of your answers to your chosen case study.
Format your assignment according to the following formatting requirements:
Typed, double spaced, using Times New Roman font (size 12), with one-inch margins on all sides.
Include a cover page containing the title of the assignment, the student’s name, the professor’s name, the course title, and the date. The cover page is not included in the required page length.
Cite your textbook as a reference.
Include a reference page. Citations and references must follow APA format. The reference page is not included in the required page length.
The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are:

Determine the considerations for and process of ethical business decision making to balance corporate and social responsibilities and address moral, economic, and legal concerns.
Analyze selected business situations using the predominant ethical theories, such as utilitarian, Kantian, and virtue ethics to guide ethical business decision making.
Determine the implications and impact of various civil liberty laws in the workplace, such as hiring, promotion, discipline, discharge, and wage discrimination.
Use technology and information resources to research issues in business ethics.
Write clearly and concisely about business ethics using proper writing mechanics.

Sample paper

Unprofessional Conduct

Question 1

Given the facts of the case, it is safe to conclude that the board violated the privacy rights of Mrs. Pettits’s by following her and her husband to the private club in Los Angeles. According to the case study, Mrs. Pettits’s and her husband went to this private club in Los Angeles, where only the members of the club were allowed, which means that the meeting in the club or rather the visit to the club as private. Irrespective of being a teacher and a role model to the society, Mrs. Pettits’s was entitled to have a private life where she could do all that she wanted away from the public eye of her students and employers. Unfortunately, she performed fellatio on three different men at the club in 60 minutes in the presence of the board members, although she did not know that the board members were watching her (Andrews, 2000). This was supposed to be a secret or a private life which means that neither the students nor the board members were supposed to know about the event. Therefore, by getting involved in her dancing tactics and behavior at the club, the board members were essentially interfering with her private life.

Besides, she did not violate any school rules and regulations with her actions. Therefore, it is safe to state that the board of education was wrong to fire Mrs. Pettits’s since she was an outstanding person who observed moral and ethical codes at the school and did not let her private life interfere with her professional life.  Notably, even the California Supreme Court was against the decision of the board by stating that the teacher did not involve herself in any form of general homosexual conduct and her behavior did not comprise of any immoral behavior or unprofessional conduct. Furthermore, there was no clear evidence that her behavior made her unfit to continue teaching. Consequently, by mixing her professional and private life, the board substantially violated her private life (Andrews, 2000).

Question 2

Based on the evidence provided in the case study, it is safe to state that Mrs. Pettits cannot be described as an unprofessional teacher. Notably, she did not allow her private life to interfere with her professional life. The fact that she performed fellatio in a private club is a clear sign of how much she respected her job and her role in the society and wanted to guard her secret. It is clear that she values her moral and professional life since she decided to show her other side in a private club that only allowed members. Besides, no teaching time was lost, and her actions did not affect the lives of her students, which mean that she is professional and fit to carry on with her duties as a teacher (Andrews, 2000). Mrs. Pettit’s professional history shows that she was one of the dedicated and caring teachers at the school who put the needs of the students ahead of her own needs. Her ability to work with students with intellectual disabilities shows her unique skills and patient that is required to work with such students. Besides, her teaching record is outstanding irrespective of the fact that her duties are difficult and challenging. She has always managed to do the best, and her competence has never been questioned, thus making her one of the professional and fit individuals to be a teacher.

Unfortunately, her behavior can only be described as immoral given her professional and role in the society is to guide students to be responsible individuals in the community. Being a forty-eight years old lady with a husband, she out to have behaved differently to show her upright morals and role model skills not only to her student but also to other youths in the society. Despite the fact that her behavior and conduct was performed in a private function, it is correct to state that it was immoral. Irrespective of the fact that she is corrupt, she is fit and professional enough to be an excellent and capable teacher (Andrews, 2000).

Question 3

Good performing teachers should not be held to a higher moral standard outside the classroom considering that they are also human with their own private lives. Notably, their professionalism should not be integrated with their private lives, unless their behavior would have a direct impact on their professional life and students. For example, according to the evidence provided Mrs. Pettits was not morally upright considering that she was involved in wife swapping at the private club which is also widely known as sexual liberation (Andrews, 2000). This unfortunate event occurred irrespective of the fact that she was one of the best performing and hard working teachers in her school.  Therefore, teachers who perform exemplary in classes should not be held to a higher moral standard outside the classroom.

Fortunately, she did not let her immoral behavior tamper with her professional life. Despite engaging in unethical conduct, she has been working with mentally challenged children who require extra attention and care compared to other children. She had been working with these children for over thirteen years and not for a single day had she let her private life compromise her competence and dedication. Besides, the school principal had vouched for her on several occasions by remaining positive of her conduct and commitment irrespective of what was going on with her private life (Andrews, 2000). Consequently, teachers that are having good performance in the classroom should not be held to higher moral standards outside the school.

Question 4

  1. Child abuse – it is unprofessional and inappropriate for teachers to mistreat their student irrespective of their behavior or performance. A good teacher should correct the student on the wrong rather than subjecting them to corporal punishment or any other form of torture.
  2. Sexual harassment – a teacher should be a role model and should not be involved in any form of sexual harassment especially against their students.
  3. Drug abuse – as a role model, teachers should do everything within their power to ensure that they remain objective by not getting into drug abuse such as alcoholism. Drug abuse can affect the professionalism of the teacher(Andrews, 2000).
  4. Favoritism – a good teacher should treat all students equally with no any form of exception irrespective of their intellectual capability and ability. Providing equal opportunities for the kids provides a room for healthy competition among them, thus improving their critical thinking.
  5. Being disrespectful to other teachers, non-teaching staff or the students – being the role models in the school, teachers are supposed to maintain high levels of respect to all people irrespective of their position on the school and society(Andrews, 2000).

In conclusion, it is safe to state that the board of education was wrong to dismiss Mrs. Pettits from her occupation considering that she did not let her private life compromise her professional life.


Andrews, T. E. (2000). Unprofessional Conduct: Case Studies (they Teach Our Children). . Dubuque, Iowa: : Kendall/Hunt Pub, Print, p 342.

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