The 8th Annual Ethics Alarms Awards: The Worst of Ethics 2016, Part 2


Part II of the Worst continues with education horrors, legal outrages, the Lie of the Year, and more.

Above? That’s obviously the…

Fake News of the Year.

Now the doesn’t get any better.

Biggest KABOOM! 


The YMCA Slavery Recreation.  You know, even looking through this category was dangerous. I had forgotten about all these stories, which, by definition, were all horrible. This one, from February, however, had to be the winner. The YMCA Storer Camps in Jackson, Michigan included an “educational” activity called “Underground Railroad” in which black children were asked to play runaway slaves, as some teachers and camp instructors acted as slave masters, chasing them down using real horses. Once captured, the children were “auctioned off.” The principal of the school that subjected its pre-teen students to the slavery simulations rather than the other better known YMCA camp activities like nature hikes, kayaking, canoeing, horseback riding and sitting around campfires responded that he didn’t expect the uproar, since no student had ever complained before.

Most Unethical High School Discipline

Red Mountain High School  in Mesa, Arizona. On a dare from a friend, high school football player Hunter Osborn briefly flashed his naughty bits in the team photo. Nobody noticed, including the yearbook’s faculty advisor, so the photo was published in the school yearbook.  Months later, the gag was discovered. Even though the photo was so small that offending nudity was virtually invisible to the naked eye, the school had Osborn was arrested and charged with 69 counts of indecent exposure. The charges were dropped because none of the 69 “victims” pressed charges.

Most Unethical No-Tolerance Action


John Glenn High School in Suburban Detroit.  The offense: “Inappropriate use of electronics in the restroom.” The conduct: Hazel Juco, a 17-year-old student, went to the school’s bathroom to wash her hands. When she turned on the faucet, ugly brown water came out. She then used her cell-phone to take photos of the discolored water and posted it to Facebook and Twitter.

She was suspended, but eventually social media and the local news vindicated her. The water was polluted, and the school district admitted that Hazel was punished for doing the right thing.

Most Unethical School Teacher

(Excluding Rapists)

A Tie! 

1. Malik Leigh, a teacher in Palm Beach Lakes High School’s pre-law academy a kindergarten teacher at Captain Johnston Blakely Elementary on Bainbridge Island, Washington

Leigh’s specialty is indoctrination. Aming his exam questions last year…

“If Donald Trump becomes president of the United states, we are:

A.) Screwed

B.) Screwed

C.) Screwed

D.) Screwed behind a really YUGE wall that Mexico pays for.”


“When performing an opening statement, it is best to:

A. Wink at the Judge

B. find the hottest person on the Jury and focus your words on them

C. Speak to them as if they are cordial friends.

D. Treat them like the MORONS they are.”

He was suspended.


2. “Jill Watson.” You can’t be a more unethical teacher than when you’re not a teacher at all. Or human.

Naked Teacher of the Year

Leigh Anne Arthur, In a completely warped and unfair application of the Naked Teacher Principle, school district officials in Union County demanded and received the resignation of the engineering teacher  after a student stole her phone, examined its contents and found a semi-nude selfie  intended for her husband’s enjoyment only.The student, who  warned her that “something bad was coming,” sent the images to other students through text messages and social media Arthur sued the school board for wrongful termination, but recently dropped the suit.  The student was charged with a computer crime and voyeurism. The Naked Teacher Principle holds that

A secondary school teacher or administrator (or other role model for children) who allows pictures of himself or herself to be widely publicized, as on the web, showing the teacher naked or engaging in sexually provocative poses, cannot complain when he or she is dismissed by the school as a result. The first formulation of the NTP can be found here.

This obviously does not apply to Arthur. Ironically it would apply to the incoming First Lady if she were a teacher, and arguably applies still, since the First Lady is a role model.

Double Standard Of The Year


Progressives and Democrats, who performed an immediate U-turn as soon Donald Trump won the election, and after having expressing outrage and indignation when Trump had suggested, about a month earlier, that he might not “accept the results of the election,” which he had claimed was “rigged,” immediately challenged the results of the election, and claimed it was rigged.

And they are still doing it today.

 Lie of the Year


Jumbo of the Year

Jumbo film Continue reading

Tales Of The Self-Righteous And Incompetent: Lawyer/Teacher Malik Leigh And His Donald Trump Exam Question

Malik Leigh

Malik Leigh is an attorney who teaches in Palm Beach Lakes High School’s pre-law academy. He submitted an exam for review, as the school requires of all tests, that included this question:

“If Donald Trump becomes president of the United states, we are:

A.) Screwed

B.) Screwed

C.) Screwed

D.) Screwed behind a really YUGE wall that Mexico pays for.”

In another question on the same test, this lawyer—and I’m still trying to get my mind around that embarrassing fact— asked

“When performing an opening statement, it is best to:

A. Wink at the Judge

B. find the hottest person on the Jury and focus your words on them

C. Speak to them as if they are cordial friends.

D. Treat them like the MORONS they are.”

Leigh was suspended.  The letter he received from Principal Cheryl McKeever announcing the suspension stated that the questions contained “inaccurate content, irrelevant material, unprofessional use of language, inappropriate use of language.” Continue reading

Bizarro World Ethics At Harvard


We will pass with little notice or comment the weird exploits of Eldo Kim, the 20-year-old Harvard University sophomore accused of emailing a bomb threat that cleared out Harvard Yard this week during exams, apparently because be wasn’t ready for his. How completely devoid of ethics does one have to be to do something like this? And how dumb! He undermines the efforts of all his fellow students who are prepared for their exams, causes fear and panic on campus, causes disruption, inconvenience and expense to the university, and all because he either didn’t study sufficiently or wasn’t prepared to fake his way through an exam like most students, all while risking arrest, trial and conviction for a serious crime that will harm his future prospects far more than any poor exam performance might. Today we learned that Kim was a psychology major studying partisan taunting. He was worried about passing an exam in partisan taunting?

Adding to the strangeness, a controversy erupted this week when veteran Harvard professor Harvey Mansfield expressed his outrage that a recent study had revealed that the most common grade given to Harvard students is A, a practice, he says (and correctly so) that penalizes genuinely outstanding students and allows slackers to slide through Old Ivy without breaking a sweat. Jeff Neal, the hapless Harvard spokesman assigned the job of spinning this revelation, confirmed the accuracy of the Mansfield’s claim, and said, maybe without giggling: Continue reading

The University of Central Florida Cheating Scandal Irony: the YouTube Ethics Hero Is Really the Ethics Dunce

[Let me begin by apologizing to Ethics Alarms readers for coming so late to the party on this one. I recently read about the UCF business school cheating scandal and the viral video it spawned, and learned that they have been a major source of blog chatter and media attention for more than a week now. It was all news to me. When you spend your  days and nights searching for stories presenting ethics issues and manage to miss one that people who aren’t even looking find with ease, you’re doing something wrong. I’m embarrassed. Many of you send me ethics stories you come across; keep doing that, please, and if you know of a big story that I seem to be ignoring, drop me an e-mail about it if you have the time []. Usually I’m ignoring it because I think the ethics of the matter are obvious, but sometimes it is because I have missed the forest for the trees. I’ll be very grateful.]

Now that I’ve arrived at the party, however, I intend to be the official pooper. The lionized professor and Youtube sensation in the incident, Richard Quinn, was a worse ethics violator that the students that he declared “disgusted him.”

In case you also missed the story, here are facts: Continue reading