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The decision to report: Because you can, does that mean you should?

Posted by on Sep 1, 2013 in Blog, Hazelwood, Law and Ethics, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments


Part of  JEA’s Scholastic Press Rights Commission’s Constitution Day lessons and activity package. The whole package can be seen here:

by Jeff Kocur
Objective: For students to explore ethical situations using the TUFF formula as described in the lesson. This unit focuses possible discussion points for inclusion in editorial policies.

Primary Common Core: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.11-12.1

Secondary Common Core: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.11-12.1bCCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.11-12.1d

Introduction: Start the class with the following hypothetical situation: “A student on staff has overheard his father (a police officer in a neighboring town) talking about pulling over your high school principal for suspicion of drunk driving. The staff member heard his father report that the principal was barely over the legal limit. And then would ask the following questions:

  1. How do you verify the accuracy of this? Is the father a reliable source? Where else could you get the info you needed?
  2. Does the community deserve to know if one of their leaders engages in this behavior?
  3. How much does the school board know about this?
  4. Does the fact that the infraction was just over the legal limit influence your decision?
  5. Whose interest should prevail in this instance?
  6. How do you negotiate what is fair here?
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