Negligence in Academic Advising and Abortion Counseling: Courts Rulings and Implications. (Special Issue: Legal and Ethical Issues in School Counseling)

By Stone, Carolyn | Professional School Counseling, October 2002 | Go to article overview

Negligence in Academic Advising and Abortion Counseling: Courts Rulings and Implications. (Special Issue: Legal and Ethical Issues in School Counseling)


Stone, Carolyn, Professional School Counseling


Navigating the legal and ethical waters of any profession can be daunting but the waters are especially murky in a human service profession such as counseling. When you add to the complications of counseling individuals clients who are minors in schools, the potential for legal and ethical dilemmas multiply. School counselors' legal and ethical work with minors involves value-laden subjects (e.g., abortion), safety issues (e.g., harassment), and life-threatening concerns (e.g., suicide). There is the inescapable fact that a school counselor's client extends beyond the student to include parents, teachers, administrators, the school district, and the community. The confluence of this multiplicity of responsibility to parents and others (and a setting whose mission and function is to deliver academic instruction) flows together to make the legal and ethical world of school counseling a complex one to negotiate.

The setting in which school counselors work is the most defining and confining characteristic for school counselors when they enter into a counseling relationship with students. Personal or emotional counseling for minors in schools brings immediate tension between the student's right to privacy and the parent's right to be the guiding force in their children's emotional development (Fisher & Sorenson, 1996; Isaacs & Stone, 1999; Kaplan, 1996; Remley & Herlihy, 2001; Salo & Shumate, 1993).

The multifaceted nature of working with minors in schools makes it impossible to develop policy for all the potential variables and situations faced by school counselors. Although there is legal guidance such as legislation and school board policy, school counselors often have to practice without clear guidelines. Occasionally, the legal obligations of school counselors are underscored by court cases.

Two court cases are presented in this article to illuminate school counselors' legal responsibilities in academic advising and abortion counseling. However, it is important to note that court decisions are based on a particular set of facts, and the law of a particular state or area of the country is applied. They do not fully define school counselors' legal obligations as professionals practicing in a particular jurisdiction. These cases are presented to show how appellate court decisions can guide and inform future decision making in a variety of potential malpractice situations.

It is highly unusual for a school counselor to be sued (Parrott, 2001; Remley & Herlihy, 2001; Stone, 2001; Zirkel, 2001a). These court cases are discussed not to disturb peace-of-mind, as that would be an over reaction, but to inform future practice and to equip professionals to exercise even greater care for their minor students.

Negligence

Negligence is a civil wrong or, in legal terms, a tort in which one person breaches a duty to another (Remley & Herlihy, 2001; Valente, 1998). A criminal wrong is a crime against society, whereas a civil wrong is a breach of another's individual rights. A civil wrong causes damages or injury that may be physical, emotional, or monetary, and plaintiffs seek compensation. Malpractice is a civil wrong and is an area of tort law that refers to negligent practice in the rendering of professional services (Remley & Herlihy; Valente). As a general legal principle, civil liability for negligence will accrue if a school counselor is found to owe a duty to another person, breaches that duty by not living up to expected standards, and as a result of the breach of duty, causes damages to another person. According to Prosser (1971), all four of the following elements must be present for negligence to be proven:

* A duty was owed by the school counselor to a student or parent/guardian of a student.

* The duty owed was breached.

* There was a sufficient legal causal connection between the breach of duty and the injury. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Negligence in Academic Advising and Abortion Counseling: Courts Rulings and Implications. (Special Issue: Legal and Ethical Issues in School Counseling)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.