How to Practice Professional Ethics

Teaching Students About the Informational Moral Compass

Copyright & Plagiarism for Kids

Copyright and Plagiarism

These are two topics we often try to sweep under the rug, assuming students will learn about these things in junior high. We, at Crockett Elementary, need to begin taking the necessary steps to adequately prepare our students for success in research and writing. It is never too early to start teaching students about the concept of right versus wrong and "giving credit where credit is due."

BrainPop has fantastic videos and activities on topics such as "Copyright," "Plagiarism," "Paraphrasing," and "Citing Sources" to help you reinforce these concepts in lessons throughout the year. Your students can also use websites such as EasyBib and Citation Machine to help cite the sources they find during research. Fifth and Sixth Grade teachers may even consider having students submit research papers to - a service for "originality checking, online grading, and peer review."

Internet Ethics

After reading and evaluating Weatherford ISD’s Acceptable Use Policy, I quickly realized how thoroughly our Administrators and Technology Directors have planned for our district’s Internet use. This policy was written as a legal document and covers everything imaginable pertaining to the Internet, including: System Access; Individual User Responsibilities; Inappropriate Use; Vandalism; Forgery; Privacy, Monitoring, and Filtering; Use of Personal Computers; Internet Postings; Email; Network Etiquette; Limited Personal Use; and more.

Take a moment to read over our districts AUP so that you will be better equipped to help your students adhere to the guidelines and demonstrate appropriate, honest Internet behavior.

You can also visit the MediaSmarts "Stay on the Path" link below to access resources to promote and encourage ethical online behavior and digital citizenship.

Right to Privacy

School should be a safe place for students to learn, explore, and create; therefore, their rights to privacy must be honored at all times. According to the ALA Council (2014), "The Library Bill of Rights affirms the ethical imperative to provide unrestricted access to information and to guard against impediments to open inquiry. Lack of privacy and confidentiality chills users' choices, thereby suppressing access to ideas. The possibility of surveillance (whether direct or through access to records) of speech, research, and exploration undermines a democratic society."

As students journey into the research process, be sure they are aware of their rights to free speech and free thought. When they come to the Library for help or guidance, I will always do my best to facilitate - not monitor - their access to information. All students' inquiries and checkouts will always, by law, be kept confidential.

To learn more about students' rights to privacy, check out the "Privacy Toolkit" link below.

ALA Council (2014). Privacy: An interpretation of The Library Bill of Rights. Retrieved from

Challenges of Library Materials

As educators, we hold the ethical responsibility to ensure all students have the rights to freedoms entitled to all citizens of the United States. This year, during the week of September 27th through October 3rd, Crockett Elementary will be celebrating Banned Books Week. According to their website, "The ALA promotes the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one's opinions even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those viewpoints to all who wish to read them."

Watch the video below to hear what the often-challenged author of Captain Underpants, Dav Pilkey, has to say about banned books. You can also check out the ALA website for more information on Banned Books Week, and share my Prezi over one of my favorite banned/challenged books, The Giver, with students.

Let's stand together and defend our students' freedoms while creating an ethical learning environment for all Crockett Roos!

American Library Association (2015). Banned & challenged books. Retrieved from

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Dav Pilkey, Creator of CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS, on Banning Books
Banned/Challenged Book Presentation

Created by Autumn Fincher