It will be better if we know in advance what is teaching in order to easily tell about ethical and legal issues in teaching. As you know teaching is inflection from to teach. According to Cambridge dictionary (2008) says, ”To teach is to give someone knowledge or to train someone.” On the other hand, Longman dictionary says, ”To teach is to give lessons at a school, college, or university, or to help someone learn about something by giving them information.”
There is a doer as subject and object in teaching process consisting of teacher as subject and learner as object. However many aspect when we decide about teaching because there are some components that have related in teaching as education process. The writer will tell all of you about ethical and legal issues in teaching. Why does the writer describe about it? Because it is very important that someone understands ethical and legal issues in teaching in order that’s process in teaching, it will be running well.
In this paper I want to explain to you about ethical and legal issues in teaching in order to easily take solution if we meet like it when all of us have become teacher. Let’s talk about it.

A. The Ethics Of Teaching
Teaching process should include some mission consisting of intellectual, social and personal dimensions. In education that will be better if we take character mission firstly because it is so important to all of component in education. As we know character in education more day that is more fad. We can’t understand they have been taking education or not because we see they have character like someone don’t have educated. For example many teacher say to learner in order that isn’t smoking because it’s very danger for body. He tell student very clearly and detail about the dangerous of smoking. However his self is smokers. That is good character, aren’t you? I am really sure your answer is not.
According to chiarelott (1994, p.170) another mission of schools is to ensure that the young acquire the ethical standards and enduring moral habits they will need to manage their own lives and contribute to the common good.
Student and teacher in classroom communicate with equal right and without constraints of any kind. A teacher can provide caring and responsible behavior but the opportunities for student to take responsibility and to participate in thinking, deciding and acting may be far from ideal. It can make the process of teaching that runs well. Because teacher and pupil can have same right that can take participle and have chance to communicate. As we know before the curriculum 1994 in Indonesian education doer who is active in the classroom that just teacher and disciple have activities just follow the classroom. They can take participation in the classroom because their teacher didn’t give them opportunity in thinking, deciding and acting.
There are some kinds of ethic of teaching that consist of:
1) Teaching as a moral craft
The teacher make moral decision in their daily teaching in term of who and where to give their attention, for how long and using which strategy. The teacher is continually making trade-off among competing demand but is guided by his/her moral values. What the teacher does each day is guided by the thing that he/she value, the thing he/she want to achieve through teaching.
2) Ethical relationship in teaching
There are some element in education that have related to teaching in order to find good result consisting of:
a The Teacher and The Principal
The teacher and the principal have central character in teaching process. Class can run well if one of them can’t give good decision in that school. principal have obligation to handle school and teacher have obligation to manage classroom. So they should have the right to collaborate between both of them in decision-making process of a school.
b The Teacher and Disciples
The teacher should show respect to student and student should too. However here I stress to respect of teacher because teacher sometime don’t give respect to student when process of teaching. Why do I say like that? Because teacher as model for student in class should promote good morality and character. For example teacher don’t show his angry to student because it can be cheatted by student. The student will value that angry is good behavior and practice it.
Teacher invent good atmosphere in the classroom in order that student feel comfortable and care with the others and creates feeling togetherness to students in community especially in class that make student understand about togetherness, it doesn’t make difficult to them when he graduate.
It is function why someone should follow education in order to find way how to think good behavior. It begin in the classroom as basic because so nonsense someone can respect with the others if in class they can practice it. There is no wrong if I say behavior model that is the main model in teaching process.
So ethic of teaching related to relationship between student and teacher that is teacher invent and give good model as higher level of morality and both of them should be respect between the other ones.
c A school and Private Industry
Private industry have function as partnership and sponsorship. The corporation between school and private industry will give benefit to the school. Sponsorship can give opportunity to student for taking part time in that industry after he goes out from school. the school can corporate for taking apprenticeship in that industry.
The school can find sponsorship to negotiate with private industry. However many school use sponsorship to take scholarship for student in order to find money or the other matery to help the student in school.
Caution is obviously needed in considering sponsorship and partnership. According to French (1992) says:
Long-term sponsorship at system and school level should be the goal but this requires major commitment from all players. The choice of company to approach must be carefully discussed, making sure that links with particular firms don’t compromise the integrity of the school/ system and the goal which it upholds.
Ethical issues emerge when staff and the school principal consider their school mission and the extent to which they want to redirect it to make it more conducive to sponsorship interests. Perhaps a number of staff will reject outright any such suggestions. So the principal must know about the strategy and ethical how to find sponsorship in order to reach benefit it for student.
B. Legal issues of teaching
Education in Indonesia is arranged by law. Every aspect in education have been made law. The government make lot of strategy in order to reach successful and can vie with the other country in the world. The government prepare the human being in Indonesia. The citizen can follow obligation education until 12 years.
As we know education in Indonesia should base on Pancasila and law as foundation of this country. Pancasila has included all of ethical of teaching. For example in the first sila that arranges relationship between god and its’ creature and so on.
There are two aspect that will be talked in this session namely right of teacher and student. Let’s talk about it.
1. Right of Teachers.
Teacher is a job same with the other worker that sometime have oversight mechanism. So it must be monitored for performance of these task. Mitcher and Kerchner (1983) said that job can have tasks preplanned or adaptive, where worker have to accommodate unexpected element. Monitoring of task can also be direct or indirect oversight. For example direct oversight that are royalty what the obligation is found by teacher that didn’t match with his work. Indirect oversight that worker doesn’t have profession. It doesn’t malpractice and they don’t have incompetence.
Some issues which often arise in the court consisting of:
a) Academic freedom
Academic freedom can be interpreted in term of freedom to teach and to learn. The material in teaching when they are discussed in classroom that have controversy such as sexual or abortion. The controversy can also be a point of tension.
b) Employment discrimination
Teachers are subjected to various layers of regulation including state education statutes, parliamentary regulations, administrative instructions, and school rules. These various laws and regulations impact heavily on teacher behavior and to a large extent limit opportunities for reform.
c) Freedom of speech
Teachers are generally permitted to speak and read freely on a range of topic but there are often state government regulations which prevent topics relating to working conditions being discussed.
d) Copying of published materials
Copyright law have been designed to give author the right to own their creative work. Teacher should obey copyright if the teacher use the material that should permit before to copy it. Because all of that have been arrange in copyright law.
e) Defamation
Teacher have access the data about personal and individual student although the data may be communicated to other teacher and administrators. It is privileged information. They can’t tell it because it make hatred, shame, disgrace, contempt and ridicule that they are defamatory.
f) Negligence
A school and its teachers must ensure a safe education environment for its students. Professional are generally being held more accountable for their action and litigation is becaming more prevalent. Teachers basically have three main responsibilities, according to Travers and Reborc (1990) namely:
• Adequately supervise their student
• Provide proper instruction
• Maintain the safety of the students while under their supervision.
Negligence is defined in term of:
• Duty of care
• Foreseeability
• Breach of duty
• Causation
So teacher must be care with them work and lost their negligence to their job because that is so bad if they do it.
g) Discipline
Teacher must be discipline if they didn’t do it so corporal punishment can be exclusion from class, detention, and suspension from school. according to Birch and Richter (1990), which empower teachers to administer punishment, including corporal punishment in some circumstances.
2. Right of students
There are some student right that has been associated by corporal punishment consisting of:
a. Bullying
Bullying is the negative action what is done by student on part of ones that can include name calling and teasing, hitting, kicking, and isolation. According to Rigby (1996) says that the childrens’ court in each state currently deal with restraining orders served on student who have been found to be bullying other students. This is growing problem and the number of restraining orders issues each month is increasing.
b. Discipline and punishment
Every school has been arrange school rules if a student who restricts school rules. She/he will be given some punishment such as suspension, banned to follow class and call his/her parents. So discipline and punishment that will give to student based on the rules at school.
c. Searches and Confiscations
Student will be searched in order to protect student for no bringing dangerous and illegal thing such as drugs, guns, knife or the other thing that can endanger the other ones. The teacher can take confiscation if the student bring forbidden thing by the school rules such as bringing cigarette and so on. And the student cause disruption at school like stereo, a pet snake, a noise whistle and toy.
d. Exclusion from school
every child has a right to follow educated at school because it has been designed in the law. Exclusion for school denies the student’s right to education and should be a last resort only. Being exclusion from school has serious consequences for the student. School and department of education must act fairly when considering whether to exclude from school. However principal has right to exclude from school if s/he controls the behavior of the student have failed.
Principal must provide notice to you and your parent about the length of time and reason for the proposed exclusion, and provide to you an opportunity to give reason for why the exclusion should no begin. For a serious breach of school rules a principal can exclude a student immediately. But before the student is given exclusion from school the student can be suspend for five school days however the student still ban the serious school rules so principal has right to do it.


There are a lot of ethical problem relating to teacher, student, principal and community relationship. Many legal issues of teaching consisting of teacher right (academic freedom, employment discrimination, freedom of speech, copying published material, defamation, negligence and discipline) and student right (bullying, discipline and punishment, searches and confiscations, and exclusion from school.


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