Section B: Case Study


1. Read the case study:

2. Carefully analyze the events in the case study as you read.

3. Answer the questions related to the case study.

Debra Pennington, principal of Weldon Elementary School, faced a tearful and very upset teacher. When second-grade teacher Nancy Musick told Ms. Pennington last week that she would be out for several weeks, beginning a chemotherapy regime for breast cancer, Nancy had assumed that the conversation would be confidential. However, yesterday afternoon at the local Kroger Superstore, another Weldon Elementary School teacher, Paula Carter, shared her concerns about Nancy’s health and wished her a full recovery. Since Nancy had told only one person, her principal, about her medical condition, she knew that Debra had not kept their conversation private.

Indeed, Debra had discussed Nancy’s cancer diagnosis and treatment with two other second-grade teachers soon after Nancy left her office last Wednesday afternoon. They had considered plans for a substitute teacher to teach in Nancy’s absence and whether to tell the second graders about the seriousness of Nancy’s illness.

Now Nancy is very upset, charging Debra with betraying a confidence. “If I had wanted the entire school to know, I would have told them myself. I trusted you to help me, and you let me down.”


1. Can you justify the actions of the principal in case 2? Why or why not?

2. How you would handle this conference if you were the principal.

3. Develop your personal code of ethics to use in professional situations. Make sure that they align to the Texas Code of Ethics for Educators

4. Would your professional code of ethics differ from your personal code of ethics for your personal life? If so, in what ways? If not, why?

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