An educator overhears a conversation between two students

An educator overhears a conversation between two students. One of the students is talking about witnessing other students picking on a student with an intellectual disability during the daily walk home. The behavior described includes taunting, pushing, and taking personal possessions. The educator hears the student say that he feels bad for the student who is being picked on but is afraid to confront his peers or report the behavior, particularly since the activity is not happening on school grounds. Discuss how the educator can address this issue. Include evidence from the “Model Code of Ethics for Educators (MCEE)” and “Professional Dispositions of Learners” to support your ideas.

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Sample Answer


The educator in this scenario is faced with a difficult situation. They have overheard students talking about bullying a student with an intellectual disability, and they need to decide how to address the issue.

The first step for the educator is to talk to the student who is reporting the bullying. This student is already showing signs of empathy and concern for the victim, and the educator can build on this by asking them questions about what they saw, how they felt, and why they are not comfortable confronting the bullies. The educator can also offer support and guidance to the student, and they can make sure that the student knows that they are not alone.

Full Answer Section


Once the educator has spoken to the student who reported the bullying, they need to decide whether or not to intervene directly. If the bullying is happening on school grounds, the educator has a clear obligation to intervene. However, if the bullying is happening off school grounds, the educator may have more leeway in deciding how to proceed.

The educator should consider the following factors when making their decision:

  • The severity of the bullying. If the bullying is serious, such as physical violence or threats, the educator should intervene even if it is happening off school grounds.
  • The safety of the victim. If the victim is in immediate danger, the educator should intervene immediately.
  • The likelihood of success. If the educator intervenes, are they likely to be able to stop the bullying?
  • The impact on the victim. Will the victim be more traumatized by the educator’s intervention than by the bullying itself?

If the educator decides to intervene, they can do so in a number of ways. They can talk to the bullies directly, or they can talk to the parents of the bullies. They can also talk to the school principal or another administrator. In some cases, the educator may need to call the police.

No matter what approach the educator takes, it is important to be respectful of all parties involved. The educator should not blame the victim, and they should not make the bullies feel like they are being attacked. The goal is to stop the bullying and to create a safe and supportive environment for all students.

The Model Code of Ethics for Educators (MCEE) provides guidance for educators on how to handle bullying. The MCEE states that educators have a responsibility to “protect the safety, health, and well-being of all students.” The MCEE also states that educators should “create a positive and supportive learning environment for all students.”

The Professional Dispositions of Learners are a set of principles that outline the qualities that learners should strive for. The Professional Dispositions of Learners state that learners should be “respectful of others,” “ethical,” and “responsible.”

By following the MCEE and the Professional Dispositions of Learners, educators can ensure that they are taking the appropriate steps to address bullying. They can also help to create a safe and supportive environment for all students.

In addition to the steps outlined above, the educator can also take the following actions to address bullying:

  • Educate students about bullying. The educator can teach students about the different types of bullying, the effects of bullying, and how to stand up to bullies.
  • Create a culture of respect and acceptance. The educator can create a classroom environment where students feel safe and respected, regardless of their differences.
  • Monitor student behavior. The educator can pay attention to student interactions and intervene if they see any signs of bullying.
  • Build relationships with students. The educator can build relationships with students so that they feel comfortable coming to them if they are being bullied.

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