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Thread: When doing the right thing feels so wrong.

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    When doing the right thing feels so wrong.

    As a school teacher, I get to see the best and the worst of the young adults as they grow from adolescence to adult-hood.

    Today, I had to report one of my brightest young HSC students for academic malpractice. When, I confronted her over her conduct (I alleged plagiarism), she responded that the pressure from her parents to 'come first' was overwhelming (for various reasons, I believe her).

    So, a bright young lady's reputation and HSC mark has been trashed by overbearing parents.

    So, reporting her did break my heart but, ethically, I had no choice.

    So, my question is... in your job, do you also experience any such Catch 22 situations whereby, due to the circumstances, the choices are impossible?
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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    I have seen patient's outright lie to family members about their illness/disease etc, after their consultation where they have been given the news. This makes me want to yell at them 'just tell them the bloody truth', but due to patient confidentiality, I can't!

    I hope the girl above can hold her head high, and tell her parents that it was their pressure that made her do it, rather than the parents get stuck into her for her actions. But sadly I think the parents will absolve themselves of any wrong-doing, other than to blame their daughter.

    Society is in a sad place, some parents don't give a rats about the children they brought into the world, and others are so overbearing, that they influence every last decision made by these young adults.
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    Yes, I can imagine the dilemma associated with medical matters.

    My father died Nov. last year, of cancer. Living about 14 hours drive away, I never got to see him that much. In July, 2010 (the last time I saw him), he told me he had cancer and had about 2 years. I was due to go up that Dec. He said there was no hurry to go up sooner - as there was plenty of time.

    After his death, it became apparent he was not letting on how serious his disease had become. His neighbours told us he had become dangerously thin but, he kept telling everyone the doctors were 'happy'.

    Looking through his records, after he died, it was clear he was 'lying' about his health.

    I understand his thinking in not wanting to worry us (he was of that generation and mind-set) but, if he were still alive, I'd definitely slap him for it .

    Scotty

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Scotty. My Q is: If you think there's a conflict of ethics in a case facing you, and you are in an instrumental position, don't you think you should try to find a way to set it right?

    That is: if you perceive two or more contributive wrongs, should you not ensure that your actions are not part of them, or add to them?

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    being an ex school teacher Scotty and being in charge of senior HSC major projects was a nightmare at times as you knew full well that some work done at home (and I hated that) was not done by the student but you could not prove it. made me really mad....so I can sympathize with you about your dilema. Kids always think they can outsmart you and some of them try it on and you did the right thing in reporting it. You got my vote.
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    Did you have any leeway ?
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    I'm in the same boat as Rick. The things I see and hear, and sometimes the things I have to do are sometimes very questionable. Also as a peer support representative for the centre I hear some amazing but very sad things.
    And being a small community, I sometimes see patients in the street that tell me stories, that I'm obliged not to say anything about. Most of the time it's extremely hard not to say anything. But I'm bound by confidentiality.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ameerat42 View Post
    Scotty. My Q is: If you think there's a conflict of ethics in a case facing you, and you are in an instrumental position, don't you think you should try to find a way to set it right?

    That is: if you perceive two or more contributive wrongs, should you not ensure that your actions are not part of them, or add to them?

    The rules I must follow are also clear. Even when I have sympathy for the girl and see the bind she is in... I am obliged to report it to the principal - who then may listen to her pleas (which were rejected). It is not worth my job to take pity on a girl (and ignore a wrong) who, after all, did the wrong thing.

    ?m
    The rules are clear. I observed a breaking of the rules. They are all warned with every assignment notification about the rules. Gone are the days you simply wrote an essay Q on the board and said, 'Gimme it next week.' They are given formal notifications, copies of the assessment handbook that outline rules, definitions and consequences..

    Quote Originally Posted by old dog View Post
    being an ex school teacher Scotty and being in charge of senior HSC major projects was a nightmare at times as you knew full well that some work done at home (and I hated that) was not done by the student but you could not prove it. made me really mad....so I can sympathize with you about your dilema. Kids always think they can outsmart you and some of them try it on and you did the right thing in reporting it. You got my vote.
    Yes, there are times when we suspect but, can't prove: other times they do take us as fools and almost hand us the evidence of their wrong-doing.

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    Who let the rabble in? Lance B's Avatar
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    I'd hate to be in your shoes for this one, Scotty. However, I think you made the right choice.

    Try not to lose sleep over it as I think you did the right thing. If she is as good as you say, then she will rise to the top anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lance B View Post
    I'd hate to be in your shoes for this one, Scotty. However, I think you made the right choice.

    Try not to lose sleep over it as I think you did the right thing. If she is as good as you say, then she will rise to the top anyway.
    I'm not really losing any sleep... she made her bed...

    But, the way the HSC is structured, there is next to no chance she'll recover to get her required ATAR - so, the road to her preferred uni course just got a lot longer and windier.

    Scotty

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    This is one of those cases when the strap should be re-introduced. To be used on the parents.
    Most parent now days expect far too much of their children. Parents push their Kids too hard, and expect them to finish year 12 with high honours.
    I supported my kids all through the school years, through the good times, and the hard times. But I never forced them to do anything. I always went to P & T nights, and calmly talked to them about it when we got home.
    I'm a firm believer that parents should be kept stay away from schools, and leave the administration of schools to the teachers and the education department like the old days.

    This coming from someone who failed year 9, and hated school..
    Most of my reports stated. Geoff is very disruptive in class, and could do better if he applied himself to his work.
    Last edited by geoffsta; 03-08-2011 at 5:12pm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kym View Post
    "You Doctor yet?"
    My wife is Asian so, I prob shouldn't laught but,

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Yeah, well, straps, and rules, and all..., OK. But the original title says, "...When doing the right thing feels so wrong..."

    This point - unless I have missed some COGENT aspect of the discussion so far - has not been resolved, not even very directly addressed. Commiserated with, yes, garnered some reactions, yes. In fact, what is the point? Is it a lament, or a reflection of some dismay? Obviously, Scotty, you feel something is not (yet) right. Or am I wrong here too?

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    Edit: I feel like, "If I could help, then yes, sure."
    Last edited by ameerat42; 03-08-2011 at 7:38pm.

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    I am a Governance Manger for the Department I work with. Every day I have to make very hard decisions and some of them affect people and not in a pleasant way. But at the end of the day there are rules and the rules are there for everyone to follow - there should be no exceptions. There are time when we can make the rules 'work' for us which we some times have to do as unfortunately not every thing is black and white.

    Yes it doesn't feel good when you have to make this choice - and it hurts sometimes and I have lost friendships over similar things but at the end of the day we know what is right and wrong - even kids - and people make decisions some good and some bad - but they make them not you. If she is that good she will pick herself up but essentially at the end of the day she cheated and would it have been any different if it was one of the students at the bottom end of the class???

    It is a hard lesson in life but better to learn it now rather than later on down the track when the consequences can be more devistating.

    You did the right thing - never comprimise your standards and morals cause once you do you will never get them back.

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    There is an upside to this.
    The student will learn from it and it maybe it will be a trigger to make positive changes in her family life.

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karl View Post
    I am a Governance Manger for the Department I work with. Every day I have to make very hard decisions and some of them affect people and not in a pleasant way. But at the end of the day there are rules and the rules are there for everyone to follow - there should be no exceptions. There are time when we can make the rules 'work' for us which we some times have to do as unfortunately not every thing is black and white.

    Yes it doesn't feel good when you have to make this choice - and it hurts sometimes and I have lost friendships over similar things but at the end of the day we know what is right and wrong - even kids - and people make decisions some good and some bad - but they make them not you. If she is that good she will pick herself up but essentially at the end of the day she cheated and would it have been any different if it was one of the students at the bottom end of the class???

    It is a hard lesson in life but better to learn it now rather than later on down the track when the consequences can be more devistating.

    You did the right thing - never comprimise your standards and morals cause once you do you will never get them back.

    Karl
    Hmm! The last bit is certainly just an assertion, the bits before only a lead up to it.

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kym View Post
    There is an upside to this.
    The student will learn from it and it maybe it will be a trigger to make positive changes in her family life.
    With some relevant guidance, perhaps. And this may help Scotty in his predicament, too.
    Last edited by ameerat42; 03-08-2011 at 8:09pm.

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    There wasn't really a point to this thread other than wondering if others have the same predicaments in their work.

    In short, I have my ethical standards - I followed them.

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    I've had similar - writing reports on an organisation being reviewed. Submit the report and I get told "you can't say that!" "Why not?" I ask. "Because it makes us look bad." "Okay, you tell me which bits aren't true and I'll delete them." *silence* for about ten seconds, then it starts at step 1 again...

    Unfortunately, people sometimes suffer detriment as a result of what I write. However, if I didn't write it, the whole organisation suffers detriment.
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