Ethics and Law for School Psychologists

By Susan Jacob; Dawn M. Decker et al. | Go to book overview

Preface

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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