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

“Oh, Didn’t We Tell You? Your Teaching Assistant Is A Robot!”

"Uh, class, about my teaching assistant Jill..."

“Uh, class, about my teaching assistant Jill…”

Talk about a lack of transparency.

Students in a class  at the Georgia Institute of Technology were recently stunned to discover that the teaching assistant they knew as “Jill Watson” all semesterwas actually a an on-line artificial intelligence program..

A creation of IBM’s Watson analytics system, “Jill” helped graduate students by answering their questions for  an online artificial intelligence course. Professor Ashok Goel, who led the online course, told The Wall Street Journal that Jill was designed to help burdened TAs field an onslaught of questions from the 300-person class. He did not tell the publication why the school chose to let students think Jill was “a real, live, girl,” as the song goes. This is, and I realize that since the Professor in in the field of computer science and not philosophy, political science  or management, so he may be unfamiliar with the concept, something that is known as perpetrating ” big lie.”

Another story about the incident in Geek Wire notes that “some say it sets a bad precedent.”

Ya think?

I supposed now is as good a time as any to tell you that “Jack Marshall” is really just a private AI program set up in Hillary Clinton’s bathroom.

Watch Out, John Malkovich…You Can’t Trust Siri!


Wired reports that IBM has banned Siri, iPhone’s voice-activated digital assistant, its headquarters network. Employees trying to use John Malkovich’s new friend will be foiled. Why? IBM CIO Jeanette Horan told MIT’s Technology Review that the company worries that conversations with Siri might be stored somewhere. And indeed they are. Siri relays everything she hears to an Apple data center in Maiden, North Carolina. What happens to it then is anybody’s guess. Continue reading

Silly Job Interview Ethics

What does a silly interview tell you about your prospective employer?

A website called has been collecting strange job interview questions, and Fortune has reprinted some of them, offering guidance to job interviewees who might panic when asked such questions as this one, apparently part of the Goldman Sachs interview process:

“If you were shrunk to the size of a pencil and put in a blender, how would you get out?”

The trick, say the experts, is not to lose your cool. Such questions are asked, the experts explain, not to elicit a correct answer, but rather to gauge an applicant’s poise, grace, reaction to stress, creativity and humor. Continue reading