Ethics and Law for School Psychologists

Ethics and Law for School Psychologists

Ethics and Law for School Psychologists

Ethics and Law for School Psychologists


Ethics and Law for School Psychologists is the single best source of authoritative information on the ethical and legal issues school psychologists face every day. Designed specifically to meet the unique needs of psychologists in school settings, this book includes the most up-to-date standards and requirements while providing an introduction to ethical codes, ethical decision making, and the legal underpinnings that protect the rights of students and their parents. This new seventh edition has been extensively updated with the latest research and changes to the law, with an increased focus on ethical-legal considerations associated with the use of digital technologies. Coverage includes new case law on privacy rights, electronic record keeping, the 2014 Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing, digital assessment platforms, the latest interpretations of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and more.

Ethics texts for counseling and psychology are plentiful, and often excellent--but this book is the only reference that speaks directly to the concerns and issues specific to psychologists in school settings. Case vignettes, end-of-chapter questions, and discussion topics facilitate deeper insight and learning, while updated instructor's resources bring this key reference right into the classroom.

Keeping up with the latest research and legal issues is a familiar part of a psychologist's duties, but a practice centered on children in an educational setting makes it both critical and more complex. Ethics and Law for School Psychologists provides a central resource for staying up to date and delivering ethically and legally sound services within a school setting.


There are a number of excellent texts, journal articles, and book chapters on ethics in psychology, legal issues in school psychology, and special education law. However, in the late 1980s, the authors of the first edition of this book recognized a need for a single sourcebook on ethics and law specifically written to meet the unique needs of the psychologist in the school setting. Consequently, Ethics and Law for School Psychologists was written to provide up-to-date information on ethical principles and standards and law pertinent to the delivery of school psychological services. Our goals for this seventh edition of the book remain unchanged. We hope that the book will continue to be useful as a basic textbook or supplementary text for school psychology students in training and as a resource for practitioners. in addition, we hope it will also be a valuable resource for scholars interested in ethical and legal issues in the field of school psychology.

As stated in the preface to the first edition, one goal in writing the book was to bring together various ethical and legal guidelines pertinent to the delivery of school psychological services. We also introduce an ethical-legal decision-making model. We concur with the suggestion that the educated practitioner is the best safeguard against ethical-legal problems (Koocher & Keith-Spiegel, 2008). School psychologists with a broad knowledge base of ethics and law are likely to anticipate and prevent problems. Use of a decision-making model allows the practitioner to make informed, well-reasoned choices in resolving problems when they do occur (Eberlein, 1987; M. A. Fisher, 2013; Tymchuk, 1986).

WHAT’S in the book

Chapter 1 provides an introduction to ethical codes; an ethical-legal decision-making model; and the four broad ethical principles of respect for the dignity and rights of all persons, professional competence and responsibility, honesty and integrity in professional relationships, and responsibility to schools, families, communities, the profession, and society. We also describe ethics committees and sanctions for unethical conduct. Chapter 2 provides an introduction to the legal underpinnings of school-based practice and to public school law that protects the rights of students and their parents. We also address certification and licensure of school psychologists— . . .

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