Compulsory teaching of ethics - Education Essay Example

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More Education, Ethics, Learning Essay Topics.

Introduction to topic with a definition of ethics
Why it is essential to teach ethics – evidence of unethical behavior
Teenage pregnancies and AIDS
Substance use and abuse among underage individuals
Rave parties – harming individuals and communities
Conclusion

Draft

The word ‘ethics’ originated from the Greek word for character (or ethos) and the Latin word for customs (or mores).  In combination, these words describe how people choose to relate to one another.  In the world of philosophy, the word ‘ethics’ describes what is good for individuals as well as society as a whole.  It further determines the nature of people’s duties toward themselves and toward the others (“Ethics,” Cornell University Law School, http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/index.php/Ethics).

     There are many kinds of behaviors that are considered unethical but are not prohibited by law.  These behaviors include betraying the confidence of friends, as well as lying (“Ethics”).  Needless to say, all kinds of people are liable to commit unethical acts.  This is the reason why many states have education codes that require teachers to be individuals of good character.  Teaches may be dismissed rfor immoral or unethical conduct (“School Teaching Ethics,” Answers 2007 http://www.answers.com/topic/school-teaching-ethics).  This is because teachers who engage in unethical behaviors do nto serve as good role models for the young.

     It is necessary for all people to be well versed in ethics.  As a matter of fact, the teaching of ethics must be made compulsory in state schools.  Students in state schools are known to be suffering from a wide range of problems, e.g. teenage pregnancies and AIDS.  Although the law does not prohibit underage sexual relations, it is obviuos that these relations are creating problems not only for the young people that develop them, but also for the communities that must support the young who are going through problems.  Moroever, despite regulation, Despite regulation, “underage college students find it easy to obtain alcohol and are more likely to binge drink than their legal-age peers” (Study, 2003, Study finds alcohol control policies deter underage drinking. (2003, April). The Brown University Digest of Addiction Theory and Application).  As a matter of fact, binge drinking and drug use are very common among underage individuals.  As a matter of fact, young people are also facing dire consequences of substance abuse with falling grades, drunken driving accidents, sexual harassment, and violence.  Unsurprisingly, society views this as a serious problem, and psychologists are trying to understand substance abuse among young adults before they can hope to provide help to the individuals concerned.  This effort on the part of researchers is based on the premise that we cannot solve a problem before we understand the nature of the problem.  Once again, society is paying the price of the research, as well as the problems related to substance use and abuse among the underage indivudloals (Melanie E. Bennett, Joseph E. Miller, and W. Gill Woodall (1999) Bennett, Melanie E., Joseph E. Miller, and W. Gill Woodall. (1999). Drinking, Binge Drinking, and Other Drug Use Among Southwestern Undergraduates: Three-Year Trends. American Journal of Alcohol Abuse, 25(2), pp. 331–350).

     Another study, conducted by Jacob M. Montgomery, Kristie Long Foley, and Mark Wolfson (2006) sought to understand the differences in state policies and community programs to address the problem of underage drinking.  Research has already shown that underage drinking leads to severe problems in the individuals who engage in it, as well as in the community at large.  Homicide has also been cited as a consequence of underage drinking (Montgomery, Jacob M., Kristie Long Foley, and Mark Wolfson. (2006). Enforcing the minimum drinking age: state, local and agency characteristics associated with compliance checks and Cops in Shops programs. Addiction, 101, pp. 223–231).

     Henry Wechsler, Jae Eun Lee, Toben F. Nelson, and Meichun Kuo (2002) have also conducted a study regarding underage drinking.  This study sought to understand underage drinking among different students groups, in different colleges, and in states with different control policies on underage drinking.  Given that underage drinking leads to health and psychological problems, besides academic difficulties, antisocial behavior, and other negative consequences we have already described, the research conducted by Wechsler et al. was a very important one.  By relating underage drinking to the control policies in different states, the results of this study were meant to provide direction to lawmakers (Wechsler, Henry, Jae Eun Lee, Toben F. Nelson, and Meichun Kuo. (2002, March). Underage College Students’ Drinking Behavior, Access to Alcohol, and the Influence of Deterrent Policies. Journal of American College Health, Vol. 50, No. 5, pp. 223-236).

     Another problem: Rave parties or raves, as their name implies, are truly noisy dance parties with the potential to disturb entire communities.  Featuring “fast-paced, repetitive electronic music and accompanying light shows,” these parties have been all the rage since the 1980s (Scott, 2002).  At first they hit Chicago and New York with the introduction of rave music in these cities.  Soon after, they spread across the United States as a subculture in their own right.  Rave parties have also been quite popular among young people of the United Kingdom and Australia (“Rave”).

     According to Leung, none of the drugs used at raves are benign.  Moreover, the manufacturers of these drugs do not consider quality control to be a priority.  All that the rave-goers want is drugs to be present at each of their noisy parties.  They neither know the source of the drugs, nor anything about the active ingredients in the drugs.  The chemicals used in the manufacture of the drugs are also unknown.  Besides, the contaminants that are possibly present in them make it hard to determine how toxic the drugs really are.  The symptoms and the consequences of the drugs also cannot be expected.  In short, writes Leung, “party drugs are perilous, not only because of the possibility of overdose but also because of their psychological, stimulating or hallucinogenic effects that could impair abuser’s perception and/or judgment.”  The author believes that the psychological effects of the drugs may be more dangerous than their physiological counterparts.  In addition, these drugs “leave women vulnerable to sexual assault and rape,” whether the drugs are taken by women “voluntarily or by deceit.”  Thus, the increasing variety of the party drugs along with their potency, turn out to be a social issue that must be addressed by the community at large.

     Rave parties are generally overcrowded by young people – a few hundred to tens of thousands of people are typically the norm.  The parties are usually advertised through flyers that are  distributed in various dance clubs as well as music shops.  Rave parties may similarly be advertised through the Internet, inviting all and sundry.  Towns in which these parties are held are not only disturbed by the noise of raves, but also by the huge crowds, traffic jams, and parking congestion that these parties attract.  Drug trafficking, drug distribution, and sexual assaults are both very common at raves.  Furthermore, raves are where underage individuals get heavily drunk before driving under the influence and disturbing the community even more (Scott).  Sheriff James Tracy, Jr. of the Utah County, where a rave party was raided in August 2005, reports that he has stormed several raves and also come across reports of “firearm violations” and “vehicle burglaries” at these parties.  Because raves are generally open to all and sundry, it is difficult for even the party organizers to keep out real crooks.  And, when “numerous individuals” drive home drunk or under the influence of drugs after the raves, the community is in danger of accidents where the innocent might just get hit by partygoers who appear to have somehow lost their minds after such parties.  The rave raid was, therefore, justified.  The incident was described thus: “In order to protect citizens from…alleged grave dangers, the county sent in 90 officers from local and state SWAT teams, along with dogs and at least one helicopter.  Attendees were intimidated by heavily armed officers in fatigues, and several eyewitness reports describe people being tackled and kicked, though they did not resist arrest” (“Community Rallies,” 2005).

References

“Community Rallies after Outrageous Rave Raid.” (2005, September 1). Drug Policy Alliance.

            Retrieved April 29, 2007, from http://www.drugpolicy.org/.

Leung, S. C. (2001). Party Drugs: A Growing Problem. The Hong Kong Medical Association for

            Doctors to Help Beat Drugs. Retrieved April 29, 2007, from

            http://www.hkma.com.hk/download/lecturenote/abs-scl.pdf.

Rave. Answers. Retrieved April 29, 2007, from http://www.answers.com.

Scott, Michael S. (2002). Rave Parties. Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, U.S.

Department of Justice. Retrieved April 28, 2007, from http://www.cops.usdoj.gov/pdf/e12011406.pdf.

.

Compulsory Teaching of Ethics in State Schools

Introduction

A community must bear the costs of unethical behaviors of its members.  Hence, it is essential for all members of the community to be well versed in ethics.  Of course, the best time to teach ethics to an individual is when he or she is young and impressionable.  For this reason, the teaching of ethics must be made compulsory in state schools.  The importance of this subject cannot be discounted, seeing that the young people of our nation are going through a huge number of problems, the costs of which must be borne by the society at large.

     The word ‘ethics’ originated from the Greek word for character (ethos) and the Latin word for customs (mores).  In combination, these words describe how people choose to relate to one another.  In the world of philosophy, the word ‘ethics’ describes what is good for individuals as well as society as a whole.  It further determines the nature of people’s duties toward themselves and other individuals (“Ethics”).

     There are many kinds of behaviors that are considered unethical but are not prohibited by law.  These behaviors include betraying the confidence of friends, as well as lying (“Ethics”).  Needless to say, all kinds of people are liable to commit unethical acts.  This is the reason why many states have education codes that require teachers to be individuals of good character.  Teachers may be dismissed for immoral or unethical conduct (“Schools Teaching Ethics,” 2007).  Young people require good role models, and teachers who engage in unethical behaviors do not serve the purpose.

     The fact that teachers may be dismissed for unethical behaviors reveals the importance that states already believe ethics to hold for young minds.  Because of their impressible natures, young individuals must be taught ethics in state schools not only for the state to avoid the costs of their unethical behaviors in future, but also for the well-being of the young.  While it is true that the introduction of ethics as a compulsory subject in state schools will be accompanied by costs, it is also a fact that the costs of unethical behaviors on the part of the young are much higher.

In the Absence of Compulsory Ethics Teaching

Teenage Pregnancies and AIDS

     Students in state schools are increasingly suffering from a wide range of problems, e.g. teenage pregnancies and AIDS.  Although the law does not prohibit underage sexual relations, it is obvious that such relations are increasingly creating problems not only for the young people that develop them, but also for the communities that must support the troubled youth.

     Substance Abuse

     Moroever, despite regulation, “underage college students find it easy to obtain alcohol and are more likely to binge drink than their legal-age peers (Study, 2003).”  As a matter of fact, binge drinking and drug use are very common among underage individuals.  Young people are also facing dire consequences of substance abuse with falling grades, drunken driving accidents, sexual harassment, and violence.  Unsurprisingly, society views this as a serious problem, and psychologists are trying to understand substance abuse among young adults before they can hope to provide help to the individuals concerned.  Once again, society is paying the price of the research, as well as the problems related to substance abuse among the underage individuals (Bennett, Miller, & Woodall, 1999).

     Underage drinking is considered unethical behavior by society.  It is also prohibited by law.  If students in state schools were to study ethics as a compulsory subject, they would know the costs that they would have to bear as a result of substance abuse.  In the absence of this compulsory subject, Montgomery, Foley, & Wolfson (2006) sought to understand the differences in state policies and community programs to address the problem of underage drinking.  According to the authors, underage drinking may lead to severe problems in the young individuals, as well as in the community as a whole.  In point of fact, homicide is a common consequence of underage drinking.  Wechsler et. al. (2002) have also conducted a study regarding underage drinking.  The researchers sought to understand underage drinking among various students groups, and in states with different control policies on underage drinking.  According to the authors, underage drinking may lead to both physical and psychological problems, apart from academic difficulties, antisocial behavior, and other negative consequences we have already described.

     Rave Parties

     Impressionable young people in state schools, without a background in ethics, are nowadays also facing trouble at rave parties.  Rave parties or raves, as their name implies, are truly noisy dance parties with the potential to disturb entire communities.  Featuring “fast-paced, repetitive electronic music and accompanying light shows,” these parties have been all the rage since the 1980s (Scott, 2002).  At first they hit Chicago and New York with the introduction of rave music in these cities.  Soon after, they spread across the United States as a subculture in their own right. (“Rave”).

     According to Leung (2001), there are all kinds of drugs being consumed by school going individuals at rave parties, and none of the drugs are benign.  Moreover, the manufacturers of the rave drugs do not consider quality control to be a priority.  All that the rave-goers want is drugs to be present at each of their noisy parties.  They neither know the source of the drugs, nor anything about the active ingredients in the drugs.  The chemicals used in the manufacture of the drugs are also unknown.  Besides, the contaminants that are possibly present in them make it hard to determine how toxic the drugs really are.  The symptoms and the consequences of the drugs also cannot be expected.  In short, write Leung, “party drugs are perilous, not only because of the possibility of overdose but also because of their psychological, stimulating or hallucinogenic effects that could impair abuser’s perception and/or judgment.”  The author believes that the psychological effects of the drugs may be more dangerous than their physiological counterparts.  In addition, these drugs “leave [young females] vulnerable to sexual assault and rape (Leung),” whether the drugs are consumed “voluntarily or by deceit (Leung).”  Thus, the increasing variety of the party drugs along with their potency turn out to be a social issue that must be addressed by the community at large.

     Rave parties are generally overcrowded by young people – a few hundred to tens of thousands of people are typically the norm.  The parties are usually advertised through flyers that are distributed in various music shops.  Rave parties may similarly be advertised through the Internet, inviting all and sundry.  Towns in which these parties are held are not only disturbed by the noise of raves, but also by the huge crowds, traffic jams, and parking congestion that these parties attract.  Drug trafficking, drug distribution, and sexual assaults are both very common at raves.  Furthermore, raves are where underage individuals get heavily drunk before driving under the influence and disturbing the community even more (Scott).  Sheriff James Tracy, Jr. of the Utah County, where a rave party was raided in August 2005, reports that he has stormed several raves and come across reports of firearm violations in addition to vehicle burglaries at these parties.  Because raves are generally open to all and sundry, it is difficult for even the party organizers to keep out real crooks.  And, when numerous young people drive home drunk or under the influence of drugs after the raves, the community is in danger of accidents where the innocent might just get hit by partygoers who appear to have somehow lost their minds after such parties.  The rave raid was, therefore, justified.  The incident was described thus: “In order to protect citizens from…alleged grave dangers, the county sent in 90 officers from local and state SWAT teams, along with dogs and at least one helicopter.  Attendees were intimidated by heavily armed officers in fatigues, and several eyewitness reports describe people being tackled and kicked, though they did not resist arrest (“Community Rallies,” 2005).”

Conclusion

Unfortunately, the following are some of the real problems faced by young individuals who have not studied ethics in their schools: teenage pregnancies, AIDS, substance abuse and related consequences, in addition to rave parties.  If the state schools were to introduce ethics as a compulsory subject, their states would be able to save the resources that are presently spent in crime fighting in addition to community programs that seek to tackle the problems faced by young individuals.  The fact that ethical behavior is considered necessary for teachers describes its importance in state schools already.

     It is best for states to root out the problems faced by the youth.  Common wisdom describes ignorance as the root of all problems.  So as to eradicate the evil we know as ignorance, state schools must make it mandatory for all of their students to be taught ethics, as this subject would certainly allow young minds to ascertain the costs of their behaviors, both for themselves and for their communities.

References

Bennett, M. E., Miller, J. E., & Woodall, W. G. (1999). Drinking, Binge Drinking, and Other

Drug Use Among Southwestern Undergraduates: Three-Year Trends. American Journal of Alcohol Abuse, 25(2), pp. 331–350.

Community Rallies after Outrageous Rave Raid. (2005, September 1). Drug Policy Alliance.

            Retrieved September 20, 2007, from http://www.drugpolicy.org/.

Ethics. Cornell University Law School. Retrieved September 20, 2007, from

http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/index.php/Ethics.

Leung, S. C. (2001). Party Drugs: A Growing Problem. The Hong Kong Medical Association for

            Doctors to Help Beat Drugs. Retrieved September 20, 2007, from

            http://www.hkma.com.hk/download/lecturenote/abs-scl.pdf.

Montgomery, J. M., Foley, K. L., & Wolfson, M. (2006). Enforcing the minimum drinking age:

state, local and agency characteristics associated with compliance checks and Cops in Shops programs. Addiction, (101), pp. 223–231.

Rave. Answers. Retrieved September 20, 2007, from http://www.answers.com.

Scott, M. S. (2002). Rave Parties. Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, U.S.

Department of Justice. Retrieved September 20, 2007, from http://www.cops.usdoj.gov/pdf/e12011406.pdf.

Study finds alcohol control policies deter underage drinking. (2003, April). The Brown

University Digest of Addiction Theory and Application.

Wechsler, H., Lee, J. E., Nelson, T. B., & Kuo, M. (2002, March). Underage College Students’

Drinking Behavior, Access to Alcohol, and the Influence of Deterrent Policies. Journal of American College Health, (50), No. 5, pp. 223-236.

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