WASA Code of Ethics

School administrators play an important role in the community in which they live. The fulfillment of that role requires that their professional behavior be respected and leadership accepted by those whom are served. A Code of Ethics is necessary to assist the profession in guarding those deserving its protection as well as judging those who do not. Furthermore, confidence and conscience of administrators are raised by a standard that speaks to behavior outside and above the minimal standards of laws and contracts. Although not every situation an administrator confronts is predicted or defined, fundamental ethical principles are always present for guidance. A group of these principles have been outlined below as the WASA Code of Ethics.

I. The Washington School Administrator makes the success of students the fundamental value of all decision-making and action.

  • The school administrator will support educational experiences based on the differing needs and abilities of pupils.
  • The school administrator subscribes to equal educational opportunity and therefore may allocate greater or different resources to pupils based on their needs.
  • The school administrator is obligated to inform the board of education and community of the deficiencies in educational services as well as to provide leadership in seeking improvements.
  • The school administrator will seek the best qualified personnel for his/her staff, using fair and objective standards.

II. The Washington School Administrator fulfills professional responsibilities with honesty and integrity.

  • The execution of school policies and procedures will be carried out impartially and without preferential consideration to any individual or group.
  • Public statements or communications will not be made which knowingly contain false information or which knowingly fail to include pertinent data.
  • The school administrator will refrain from making unwarranted claims or misinterpreting facts to further his/her professional status.
  • Unfounded derogatory judgements about other colleagues or school systems will not be made.
  • The school community has the right to expect an administrator to be consistent and truthful in every aspect of his/her professional life.

III. The Washington School Administrator supports the principles of constitutionalism and due process and protects the civil and human rights of all individuals.

  • The school administrator will not allow students or staff to be disciplined or to be deprived of their rights in the schools without an opportunity for a fair hearing.
  • Parents and other community representatives will be accorded their right to be heard and their concerns shall be given respectful consideration.
  • Rules and regulations will be applied impartially to individuals and without subterfuge or malicious intent.

IV. The Washington School Administrator obeys local, state, and national laws and supports the orderly and constitutional process of change.

  • A legal conviction for immorality, commission of a crime involving moral turpitude, or other public offenses of similar degree shall be grounds for revoking membership of an administrator for WASA.
  • A school administrator will not affiliate with an organization that advocates the forcible overthrow of the federal government.
  • A school administrator has the right, and in some cases an obligation, to express his/her views on the wisdom or justice of specific laws. The right to question a law, however, does not carry with it the right to defy it.
  • A school administrator will not withhold evidence in legal issues and will not knowingly shield violators of the law.

V. The Washington School Administrator implements the governing board of education's policies and administrative rules and regulations.

  • Administrators will carry out all policies and procedures of the Board of Directors, not just those which they support.
  • The school administrator will support his/her board or staff members whenever they are unjustly accused. Administrators should not publicly criticize board or staff members.
  • If an administrator acts unethically in carrying out his/her duties, it should be reported to the board. If he/she is dismissed without good cause, or without satisfactory resolution, it should be reported to the public.

VI. The Washington School Administrator provides leadership within the state and community to amend those laws, policies, and regulations that are not consistent with sound educational policy and professional practice.

  • A school administrator will not only oppose legislation harmful to the best interests of schools, but will encourage, support, and promote those laws that will improve schools. He/she will work with professional associations and lobbying groups to improve legislative support and supervision of schools.
  • It shall not be considered unethical for a school administrator to oppose professional associations or other educational organizations or agencies when the administrator is representing the particular interests of his/her local district.
  • There are occasions when, as a professional educator and as a citizen, a school administrator has the right to make public his/her own judgment on public policy issues notwithstanding the opinion of his/her peers or supervisors.

VII. The Washington School Administrator does not improperly use his or her position to influence for personal gain.

  • The school administrator will select resources to enhance the educational program and not for personal gain or selfish reasons. It is ethically improper for a school administrator to profit in any direct or material way by his/her influence in the selection of goods or services.
  • The school administrator will resist the demands of special interest groups from unduly influencing the educational program.
  • The school administrator should not be engaged in personal business ventures that deprive his/her employers of their contracted rights to his/her time and attention.
  • It is a breach of public trust for a school administrator to use confidential information concerning school affairs for personal profit or to provide such information to others for the same purpose.
  • It is undesirable for a school administrator to publish for private gain previously unpublished materials gathered at public expense under his/her jurisdiction.
  • The school administrator should not recommend the appointment of immediate relatives to positions under his/her jurisdiction.

VIII. The Washington School Administrator accepts academic degrees or professional certification only from duly accredited institutions.

IX. The Washington School Administrator maintains high standards and seeks to improve the effectiveness of the profession through research and continuing professional development.

  • In addition to meeting the minimal requirements for certification, the school administrator has a responsibility to satisfy the standards recommended by his professional association and to support the adoption of those standards by the state.
  • The school administrator will attend conferences or meetings that hold promise of contributing to his/her professional growth and development.
  • The school administrator encourages others to participate in professional growth activities and supports his/her professional organizations.
  • The school administrator seeks out promising practices or relevant research to apply to his/her local program. Significant practices in the local district will be shared with others.

X. The Washington School Administrator honors all contracts until fulfillment or release.

  • The school administrator honors his/her contract obligations. He/she will not enter into a new contract without satisfying commitments already made.
  • A school administrator will not misrepresent his/her abilities or others seeking a position.
  • A school administrator will not seek or accept a position where established principles of conduct must be seriously compromised or abandoned.

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