Nalia has just been hired to be a teacher assistant in a four-year-old classroom. The lead teacher in the class has been teaching for three years. The first week she welcomed Nalia with enthusiasm, helping her to get to know the children and families, and sharing ideas about the classroom – generally providing Nalia a warm welcome. As Nalia was looking over the materials in the classroom, she noticed an abundance of materials that represented age, ability, ethnicity, religion, gender, race, social class, and families.
As Nalia looked more closely through the materials, she noted that the materials related to families represented many different types of families but did not include families with gay or lesbian parents. Nalia had learned that one of the children in the class had two mothers. Nalia was raised by a single gay man. One afternoon, after the children had left for the day and Nalia and the head teacher were cleaning up the classroom, Nalia asked her co-worker why gay and lesbian families were not represented in any of the classroom materials. Her co-worker responded that she felt homosexuality was a sin and she would not support any activities that indicated that such relationships were acceptable. Nalia mentioned that she had been raised by a gay man. Her co-worker became quiet, finished tidying up the classroom and prepared to leave for the day. As she was leaving, the lead teacher said good-bye to Nalia and wished her a nice evening.
Over the next few days, Nalia found her co-worker to have become less friendly, only communicating as necessary but remaining professional at all times. Nalia also began to notice that the teacher had only necessary contact with the child of the lesbian couple.
Nalia comes to you and shares this situation with you as a fellow co-worker in the classroom next to hers. How might the two of you work through this ethical dilemma?
Provide your initial thoughts using the guidelines suggested in the Feeney text. Be sure to include specific items from the Code of Ethical Conduct. (You do not need to write out the whole text of the item, just provide the item number so other students may reference it.)
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