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Read the scenario below: What is the ethical dilemma presented? How should this dilemma be dealt with in order to promote respect and success for Kris?​

Mrs. Peterman serves as the intervention specialist for a K-8 school, specializing in Autism Spectrum Disorder. Mrs. Peterman has been asked to focus on traveling to classrooms to provide support for her students and to work with students in her own classroom when deemed necessary.

Kris is one of Mrs. Peterman’s students this year and spends his day in Mr. Lujano’s classroom, the only regular education teacher in the sixth grade.

Recently Mrs. Peterman has made the decision to keep Kris with her for reading and math. Performance reports for Kris indicate he has average to low-average skills in both areas. Mrs. Peterman wants to keep Kris for these two core subjects because she does not approve of Mr. Lujano’s teaching techniques.

What is the ethical dilemma presented? How should this dilemma be dealt with in order to promote respect and success for Kris?

Respond to student discussion:

(DEB) If Kris is average to low average in math and reading, he needs to be in the classroom with his peers. By keeping Kris out of the general education classroom, she is creating a more restrictive placement for him. Not only that, but she is limiting the about of time Kris spends with is typical peers which will impact his social development and communication skills. My opinion is that Mrs. Peterman is part of a team and cannot make a unilateral decision without a team meeting, meeting with parents and an amendment to the IEP and in this case, that would not be appropriate and could possibly significantly impact Kris’s progress.

I believe that Mrs. Peterman should have handled this situation with communication and collaboration. Sitting with Mr. Lujano and discussing in a non-confrontational manner, the needs of Kris and how they can, as a team, meet those needs. Just disagreeing with another teachers style is not evidence of th need for a more restrictive placement for a student. Perhaps Mrs. Peterman can spend some her day in the classroom with Kris, providing supports as needed and model for Mr. Lujano the best way to approach Kris, maybe help with strategies.

(Aud) I understand Mrs. Peterman’s position, and I also have empathy for Kris and Mr. Lujano. Its appears as through both the teacher and student aren’t getting the support they need. Mrs. Peterman saw that Kris wasn’t getting what he needed, so she figured that she could “fix” the situation by pulling him out of the general education environment and into her SPED classroom for two (seemingly) challenging subjects. Whereas I understand the frustration on all sides, I disagree with Mrs. Peterman’s approach to the situation. The scenario implies that she pulled Kris out when she saw that core content performances were low. However, my experience as a SPED teacher and a learning strategist tell me that when data is looked at, instructional methods need to be looked at, as well. Sure, Mrs. Peterman may have looked at Mr. Lujano’s methods, but did she ever offer suggestions to better reach Kris? Did she offer any intervention support? If Mrs. Peterman would’ve offered support, then she wouldn’t have violated the second principle of the National Association of Special Education Teachers, which reads: NASET members apply their professional knowledge to create a professional and supportive environments for students with special needs.

National Association of Special Education Teachers. (2007, June 11). Code of Ethics. Retrieved from

Read “Evidence-Based Practice for Special Educator Teaching Students with Autism,” by Marder and Fraser, located on the Johns Hopkins School of Education website.

Review the Code of Ethics.

Review the Special Education Professional Ethical Principles and Practice Standards.

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