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The Legal and Ethical Complications of Working with Minors in Schools
Workshop Description
The school environment poses competing interests between a student’s need for confidentiality and the legal rights of parents, as established by the U.S. Supreme Court, to be the guiding voice in their children’s lives in value-laden issues. Participants will develop an ethical decision-making framework for analyzing and resolving ethical issues through the application of American School Counselor Association Ethical Standards, case and statutory law, school board rules and community standards. Through small-group and large-group discussion of 40 case studies, participants will be given the opportunity to increase their understanding of the complexities of respecting a minor’s right to confidentiality, to develop a sensitivity to the need to consider their actions in context of each situation for each individual student and to understand the rights of parents. Discussion topics will include areas such as confidentiality and duty to warn, minors’ rights to privacy, counselors’ responsibilities toward suicidal children, civil and criminal liability, sexually active minor clients, birth control, abortion counseling, defamation, child abuse, HIV-positive students, case notes and educational records, malpractice in academic advising, sexual harassment, the Hatch Amendment and guidance curriculum and personal conduct.

Learning Objectives
  • Stimulate self-examination of one’s values/philosophies in ethical decision-making.
  • Gain a tolerance for ambiguity in ethical decision-making as opposed to rigid responses
  • Reduce fear and anxiety in dealing with legal and ethical issues
  • Learn to avoid legal entanglements in schools by practicing within the minimum standards of care for the reasonably competent professional. 
Carolyn Stone, Ed.D., is an associate professor and school counseling program leader, University of North Florida, and chair of ASCA’s Ethics Committee. She writes a regular column on legal and ethical issues for ASCA School Counselor magazine and is the author of numerous articles and books on school-counseling-related legal and ethical issues.

Schedule: Full-day training; 0.6 CEUs available to attendees

Cost: $3,000*
*In circumstances requiring extensive travel arrangements, additional fees may apply.  

To bring this professional development workshop to your district, e-mail Jennifer Walsh