Code of Ethics of the Education Profession

(As adopted by the Representative Assembly of the National Education Association, July 1975)

Article XII of the Constitution of the Michigan Education Association provides that the Code of Ethics adopted by the National Education Association shall be the Code of Ethics for the members of the Michigan Education Association.

Preamble

The educator, believing in the worth and dignity of each human being, recognizes the supreme importance of the pursuit of truth, the devotion to excellence and the nurturing of democratic principles. Essential to these goals is the protection of freedom to learn and to teach and the guarantee of equal educational opportunity for all. The educator accepts the responsibility to adhere to the highest ethical standards.

The educator recognizes the magnitude of the responsibility inherent in the teaching process. The desire for the respect and confidence of oneís colleagues, of students, of parents and of the members of the community provides the incentive to attain and maintain the highest possible degree of ethical conduct. The Code of Ethics of the Education Profession indicates the aspiration of all educators and provides standards by which to judge conduct.

The remedies specified by the NEA and/or its affiliates for the violation of any provision of this code shall be exclusive, and no such provision shall be enforceable in any form other than one specifically designated by the NEA or its affiliates.

Principle I. Commitment to the student

The educator strives to help each student realize his or her potential as a worthy and effective member of society. The educator therefore works to stimulate the spirit of inquiry, the acquisition of knowledge and understanding, and the thoughtful formulation of worthy goals.

In fulfillment of the obligation to the student, the educator:

1. Shall not unreasonably restrain the student from independent action in the pursuit of learning;

2. Shall not unreasonably deny the student access to varying points of view;

3. Shall not deliberately suppress or distort subject matter relevant to the studentís progress;

4. Shall make reasonable effort to protect the student from conditions harmful to learning or to health and safety;

5. Shall not intentionally expose the student to unnecessary embarrassment or disparagement;

6. Shall not on the basis of race, color, creed, sex, national origin, marital status, political or religious beliefs, or family, social or cultural background, or sexual orientation, unfairly:

a. Exclude any student from participation in any program;

b. Deny benefits to any student;

c. Grant any advantage to any student;

7. Shall not use professional relationships with students for private advantage;

8. Shall not disclose information about students obtained in the course of professional service, unless disclosure serves a compelling professional purpose or is required by law.

Principle II. Commitment to the profession

The education profession is vested by the public with a trust and responsibility requiring the highest ideals of professional service.

In the belief that the quality of the services of the education profession directly influences the nation and its citizens, the educator shall exert every effort to raise professional standards to promote a climate that encourages the exercise of professional judgment, to achieve conditions which attract persons worthy of the trust to careers in education and to assist in preventing the practice of the profession by unqualified persons.

In fulfillment of the obligation to the profession, the educator:

1. Shall not in an application for a professional position deliberately make a false statement or fail to disclose a material fact related to competency and qualifications;

2. Shall not misrepresent his/her professional qualifications;

3. Shall not assist entry into the profession of a person known to be unqualified in respect to character, education or other relevant attribute;

4. Shall not knowingly make a false statement concerning the qualifications of a candidate for a professional position;

5. Shall not assist a noneducator in the unauthorized practice of teaching;

6. Shall not disclose information about colleagues obtained in the course of professional service unless disclosure serves a compelling professional purpose or is required by law;

7. Shall not knowingly make false or malicious statements about a colleague;

8. Shall not accept any gratuity, gift or favor that might impair or appear to influence professional decisions or actions.

Provisions for national enforcement

Excerpted from the National Education Association Constitution:

Article VII, Section 2, a.

The Review Board shall have the original jurisdiction in the following cases:

1. Impeachment of an officer who is a member of the Executive Committee;

2. Alleged violations of the Code of Ethics of the Education Profession.

Article VII, Section 2, b.

The Review Board shall have the following powers, subject to the conditions as herein outlined:

1. To impeach an officer. The officer shall have the right to appeal to the Board of Directors.

2. To censure, suspend or expel a member for violation of the Code of Ethics of the Education Profession....The member shall have the right to appeal to the Executive Committee on procedural grounds only.

3. To vacate censure, lift suspension or reinstate a member.

Article VII, Section 4.

The Review Board shall establish its rules of procedure with the approval of the Board of Directors. Due process must be guaranteed in all its proceedings.

Adherence to the code

Excerpted from the National Education Association Constitution:

Article II, Section 2, b.

Members engaged in teaching or in other educational work shall adhere to the Code of Ethics of the Education Profession.

Article IV, Section 6.

Executive officers of the Association may be impeached for violation of the Code of Ethics of the Education Profession...

Article VI, Section 4.

Officers of the Association may be impeached for violation of the Code of Ethics of the Education Profession...

Article VII, Section 5, a.

Members of the Review Board may be impeached (by the Executive Committee) for violation of the Code of Ethics of the Education Profession...

Excerpted from the National Education Association Bylaws:

8-7, d.

The affiliate (local) shall adopt a policy that recognizes the preeminence of the Code of Ethics of the Education Profession.

8-11, d.

The affiliate (state) shall adopt a policy that recognizes the preeminence of the Code of Ethics of the Education Profession.