Ethical Dilemma Scenarios

nstructions: Read all four scenarios and select one to analyze for your initial Discussion post. Scenario 1 Rose is a preschool teacher for a class of 4-year-olds in a large U.S. city. She enjoys the diversity the city brings to her classroom and respects different perspectives and cultures. However, toward the start of the school year, Rose develops a concern involving a boy named Fung. Fung’s mother has been coming to the preschool every day to spoon-feed him his lunch. When asked about the practice, Fung’s mother explains that in their Southeast Asian culture, the feeding of children—even when they are old enough to feed themselves—is the way they teach and encourage the concept of interdependence. They want children to know and understand from an early age that each person’s health and well-being is inextricably tied to another’s. Rose is uncomfortable with this behavior, especially since she and her co-teacher have spent a great deal of time building the children’s autonomy and self-confidence performing everyday tasks like eating, using the bathroom, putting on shoes, and washing hands.

Scenario 2

Craig is a human resources officer for a nonprofit agency running several social programs in the community. The agency’s corporate executive office is 90% White, but the front-line workforce at the local branches is more diverse. One of the workers, Latisha, is a Black woman who wears her hair in various natural styles. The executives saw Latisha on a recent visit to the branch and promptly spoke to Craig afterward. They described Latisha’s hair on that day as “messy” and “unprofessional.” They also said, “All our administrators need to fit the corporate image. Her look has got to change.” To support their point, the executives referred to the employee manual, which discusses proper clothing and hygiene. Craig is unsure what to do. The executives are clearly looking to him to enforce rules about professional appearance, but he doesn’t think it’s right to make Latisha relax her hair.

Scenario 3

Ramon is a practitioner at a nonprofit that helps lower-income individuals receive subsidized housing. He has been working with Tracy, a 19-year-old woman, to determine eligibility for housing assistance. Ramon does the calculations and sees that Tracy is $10 over the established income limit, meaning she makes too much money to qualify. Ramon communicates this to Tracy, and she becomes upset. “That doesn’t make any sense,” Tracy says. “I work a minimum-wage job with no benefits. How can I not qualify?” Tracy goes on to say she cannot live at her family’s home anymore because she’s been sexually assaulted by her uncle who also lives there. Ramon is sympathetic to Tracy; after all, it is only $10, and this fresh start could help her out immensely. However, he knows that the income limits were put in place for a reason and he needs to uphold personal and professional ethics when carrying out his duties.




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Scenario 4

Nikki is an aftercare provider at a nonprofit for elementary school students. The aftercare space has been set up with many different stations for free play, including one in which students can dress up as ballerinas, princesses, doctors, knights, and more. Nikki feels it sparks the kids’ imagination and helps them blow off steam from school. One day, however, Nikki receives a call from a concerned father. He has heard from his 6-year-old son about this dress-up station, and how much his son likes the sparkly princess dress. The father complains that he doesn’t want his boy “wearing girly clothes” and “prancing around the room.” Nikki is shocked. She was raised in a progressive household where traditional gender roles were challenged and LGBTQ rights were openly discussed. Also, the child is very young and simply playing. It is hard for her to understand this father’s perspective.