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Workplace Ethics



The Board of Education did not violate Mrs. Pettit’s privacy sinceher actions were performed in public. In fact, she had shared hercontroversial views on two local television shows (Shaw, 2011).Therefore, she did not make any attempts to conceal her conduct.Although the couple wore disguises, one of the teachers recognizedMrs. Pettit. Hence, her colleagues learned of her immoralinclinations. Furthermore, the couple joined a club that sponsoredlewd parties for its members (Shaw, 2011). Mrs. Pettit also performedfellatio on three different men within a one-hour period. Althoughthe party occurred at a private residence, the sexual acts wereperformed in the view of all present. In this regard, Sergeant Berkwitnessed Mrs. Pettit’s indecent conduct (Shaw, 2011). Therefore,her privacy was not violated.

TheBoard’s Decision

Indeed, the Board was justified in firing her due to several reasons.Firstly, Mrs. Pettit’s behavior had violated her moral obligationsas a teacher. Three school administrators independently testifiedthat her conduct made her unfit to teach (Shaw, 2011). Mrs. Pettit’swillingness to share her divergent views on local televisiondisplayed a high likelihood of contaminating her students. In fact,she had violated the Education Code that required teachers to serveas exemplars. Secondly, Mrs. Pettit’s behavior amounted to criminalconduct. The California Penal Code had outlawed any actions of publicindecency (Shaw, 2011). In this respect, Mrs. Pettit’s decision toperform oral sex on three different men was in breach of this directlaw. Consequently, the Board had to terminate her contract to protectthe institution’s students and reputation.

Fitnessto Teach

Mrs. Pettit’s behavior was both immoral and unprofessional.Non-conventional sexual lifestyles could not be justified. Althougheach individual had the right to privacy, Mrs. Pettit and her husbandshared their views on local television shows (Shaw, 2011). Herbehavior was also immoral since such conduct contravened theCalifornia Penal Code. Notably, the undercover agent did not targetMrs. Pettit. In fact, she did not contest to the charge of publicindecency (Shaw, 2011). Moreover, her decision to pay a statutoryfine showed her admission of guilt. Mrs. Pettit deliberately chose toparticipate in immoral conduct. As an experienced teacher, she wasaware of her responsibilities to her students. The Education Coderequired instructors to manifest exemplary morals and manners (Shaw,2011). Mrs. Pettit was also cognizant of the fact that such attitudesviolated public decency. This is shown by her decision to weardisguises during the TV interview (Shaw, 2011). Consequently, Mrs.Pettit was unfit to teach.


Teachers with good performance inside the classroom should be held tohigher moral standards away from the school setting. Instructors wereprivileged to interact with students and shape their attitudes andbehaviors. In many instances, learners acquired skills and knowledgefrom the lessons taught inside the classroom. Hence, teachers had tobe role models to their students. Admittedly, Mrs. Pettit had showntremendous dedication to her work. In fact, she had worked withmentally-impaired children for over 13 years (Shaw, 2011). The schoolprincipal offered several positive evaluations of her workperformance (Shaw, 2011). There was little evidence to suggest thatMrs. Pettit’s sexual preferences had compromised her teachingability. Nevertheless, her commendable performance and privilegedstatus brought additional responsibilities. In this regard, Mrs.Pettit was obligated to adhere to high moral standards outside theclassroom. Although students needed to make intellectual development,it was also important to consider their social growth. Furthermore,other instructors needed to learn from Mrs. Pettit and imitate hermethods. However, one teacher had recognized her on television whilesharing her immoral views on alternative sexual lifestyles (Shaw,2011). Some parents with children at the school may also have learnedof her criminal act in the private residence. Such individuals mayhave questioned her competence. Similarly, the school’s reputationmay have been threatened. Therefore, excellent performance in theclass had to be accompanied by higher moral standards in socialsettings.

Immoraland Unprofessional Conduct

Teachers should refrain from certain forms of immoral andunprofessional conduct. Firstly, they should avoid showing favoritismto particular children (Strike, 2015). Admittedly, students havedifferent intellectual abilities and temperaments. Some children maybe outgoing while others may be withdrawn and unfriendly.Notwithstanding, teachers must accommodate the needs of theirstudents to ensure a proper learning environment. Secondly, it wouldbe unprofessional for instructors to cause physical harm to children(Strike, 2015). Although discipline is indispensable, teachers mustprovide correction to the proper degree. Besides, instructors mustavoid making sexual advances on their students (Strike, 2015). Inthis regard, lewd jokes and suggestive remarks have to be eradicated.Teachers should also refrain from showing disrespect to students andfellow instructors (Strike, 2015). Hence, learners can adoptreverence for their parents and peers. Lying and stealing behaviorwould also be discouraged. In addition, teachers must manifestawareness and responsiveness to situations within the classroom(Strike, 2015). Instructors must notice when certain students aremissing or displaying uncharacteristic behavior. Consequently,teachers can fulfill the requirements of their profession.


Indeed, Mrs. Pettit’s privacy was not violated since she did notattempt to conceal her actions. The Board was also justified to fireher since she manifested unprofessional conduct. Mrs. Pettit’sbehavior was also immoral since it violated the California PenalCode. Hence, instructors with excellent reviews have an obligation tomaintain high moral standards.


Shaw, W. H. (2011). Business ethics: 2010 custom edition (7thed.). Mason, OH: Cengage.

Strike, J. S. K. (2015). The ethics of teaching. New York, NY:Teachers College Press.