Responding to the ridicule of teachers and the teaching profession by politicians and self proclaimed "experts"!
"Where is Albert Shanker now that we need him?" - Walt Sautter

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Unethical Ethics

I was elected to the Nutley Board of Education in 2007 and served a three year term. As a member of the BOE I was obliged to endure a yearly ethics training session presented by New Jersey School Boards Association.
            The presenter gave a complete discussion of the plethora of rules and regulations regarding BOE ethics. Now don’t get me wrong, I do think Board members should engage in ethical practices and ethical practices only, but it was the answer to my question at the end of the session that really irritated me. I have to say that I thought I knew the answer before I asked but I just had to ask anyway.
            I raised my hand and asked, “Do all these ethics procedures and regulations also apply to State Legislators, that is, State Assemblymen and State Senators?”
            There was a brief pause and then the answer which I had expected, “No!”.
            I said no more but I certainly did think about it a lot.
            I was watching 60 Minutes last Sunday and a piece about insider stock trading by Congressmen was shown. It immediately reminded me of the ethics rules situation I had encountered while on the BOE. 
Why? Because it seems that insider trading by Federal Legislators is perfectly ethical and not illegal based on the laws that are passed and applied to Congressman and their staff.
Meanwhile the commoners are subjected to strict prohibition from even a hint of  this activity (which well they should).
            Same old “stuff” – “All pigs are equal but some pigs are more equal than others” – Animal Farm – George Orwell.
            Is it unethical to apply stringent ethics regulations to others and not yourself?
What do you think?

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