Maintaining Confidentiality Obligation and Friendship Term Paper

  • Length: 5 pages
  • Sources: 1+
  • Subject: Education - Administration
  • Type: Term Paper
  • Paper: #25598295

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Case #14: Confidentiality, Obligations, and Friendship

Recognize an Ethical Issue/Dilemma

Henry's leadership style had always been personal and this worked well for him and his staff. Henry had been a school administrator for Grover Cleveland High for five years, but he had managed to change the place. There was an atmosphere of good, warm feelings across the halls and faculty morale was high. Having developed this personal touch with his staff he was considered a friend by many including the Jim Austin who was the head of Cleveland's physical education department. Jim and Henry had become good friends since they were early morning jogging companions. Jim approached Henry and requested for a confidential meeting where he disclosed to Henry he has discovered he has AIDS and he would like to continue with his work for as long as he could without anyone knowing. The school board did not have any policy regarding AIDS Henry did not know much about AIDS. Although he responded and told his friend that he would keep this a secret, he was worried that something might happen that would allow the virus to be spread to the students since Jim was a physical education instructor.

Looking at case one can see that he feels obligated to both his friend and his students, and he is aware that because of Jim's position in the school there are chances that an accident might occur that could result in the spread of AIDS to a student or a faculty member. The information shared was confidential and Henry could not go about disclosing it to the students and faculty members. Jim trusted Henry to keep this information secret and he had realized that he was obligated to let the school administrator know of his status.

The ELCC Standard 5 addresses the educational leader’s role as the "first citizen" of the school/district community (National Policy Board for Educational Administration, 2002). School leaders are charged with setting the tone for the employees and students, and their contact with students, employees, and parents should reflect their concern for others and for the organization. Henry needs to ensure that he is a good role model and he does not let his personal commitment to his friend endanger the lives of the students. Having a commitment to both students and faculty he should set aside his friendship and focus on his obligation to the school/district community.

The ELCC Standard 6 addresses the need for the school leader to understand and operate in the larger context of the community (National Policy Board for Educational Administration, 2002). Of importance is the need to actively participate in the policy-making context in the service of education. Currently, there is no policy on AIDS in the school and Henry would have benefitted by using this policy to respond to Jim.

Henry's dilemma is on how he can meet the obligations of the school and maintain the confidentiality of the information he has received and maintain his friendship.

Get the Facts

Henry the school administrator at Grover Cleveland High was wondering about his obligation to his students and staff. With the information that Jim had shared, he was obligated to keep it a secret since he had assured his friend he would, but he was worried that since Jim was a physical education instructor, there is a possibility that he could spread the virus to the students. With little knowledge regarding AIDS, he had to make a decision that would be suitable for the students and for Jim. The school did not have a policy on AIDS and this did not make the matter any easier.

The issue is that Henry has maintained a personal relationship with his staff members and they feel close enough to him to share many things. His friendship with Jim stems from the fact that they both take early morning jogs and they have become closer due to this. However, Henry still needs to ensure that he does not allow his personal feelings to interfere with his objective professional decisions. Although the personal interaction with the staff had resulted in a changed school, it might come at a cost since Henry might not be able to separate the friendship from professional needs.


Henry should:

1. Keep the information he received from Jim confidential and not tell anyone about his status.

2. Request the school board to develop a policy on AIDS.

3. Talk with Jim as a friend and express his fear of the virus being spread especially…

Cite This Term Paper:

"Maintaining Confidentiality Obligation And Friendship" (2018, May 15) Retrieved February 17, 2020, from

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