The Ethics of Gatekeeping
A long, long time ago in a university far, far away a student enrolled in a social work program. He was a handsome, personable fellow with one of those gifts for speaking pleasantly and knowledgeably—most everyone was assured of his competence, sincerity, and integrity.
The student traveled many hours from his humble home each day, climbing hills, fording streams, and cutting paths through the woods to reach the fortress of higher learning. Possibly because he was also a full-time knight in an agency serving despairing and discouraged humankind, faculty were understanding and patient when he missed classes because of inclement weather, trolls, or because his steed had an appointment at the smithy.
Brave and hard-working (to hear his accounts), the student seemed destined for greater things—perhaps prince of a small realm of his own some day. He would be an alumnus who would give the learned social work faculty abundant reasons to be proud.
All went well until one day, during a routine midsemester visit to the student's practicum agency, the student's field instructor voiced a small complaint to his learned faculty liaison. Allowed to serve his internship in the evening hours after his supervisor had gone home, the confident and assertive student had been given