Legal and Ethical Complications of Working with Minors in Schools
The school environment poses competing interests between a student's need for confidentiality and parents' legal rights as established by the Supreme Court to be the guiding voice in their children's lives in value-laden issues. On any given day, a school counselor navigates such charged subjects as abortions, harassment, suicide, eating disorders and child abuse, just to name a few. The legal and ethical complications of any human services professional are daunting, but the complexities for school counselors are magnified as they are working with minors in a setting designed for academic instruction. 
Participants will increase their understanding of the complications of working with minors in a school setting through the presentation of four court cases:
  • Arnold vs. Escambia County (respecting parents' rights to be the guiding voice in their children's lives)
  • Eisel vs. Montgomery County Board of Education (school counselors and duty to care)
  • Sain vs. Cedar Rapids (negligent misrepresentation and academic advising)
  • Grossman vs. South Shore (school counselor's values and the courts)
Learning Outcomes
  • Gain an awareness of your own values in ethical decision-making
  • Develop a tolerance for ambiguity in ethical decision-making
  • Learn about the minimum standard of care for the reasonably competent professional
  • Gain a knowledge of guiding principles as established by the courts
Carolyn Stone, Ed.D.,
 has been a counselor educator at the University of North Florida since 1995, where she teaches and researches in the area of school counselors and legal and ethical issues. Prior to becoming a counselor educator, Stone spent 22 years with the Duval County Public Schools in Jacksonville, Fla., where she served as a middle school teacher, elementary and high school counselor and supervisor of guidance for 225 school counselors. Stone is a former ASCA president and is currently co-chair of the ASCA Ethics Committee. She is a past president of the Florida Counseling Association and the Florida Association of Counselor Educators and Supervisors.