An Analysis of U.S. Student Drug and Alcohol Policies through the Lens of a Professional Ethic for School Leadership


  • Mark E. Stamm South Williamsport Area School District
  • William Charles Frick University of Oklahoma
  • Hollie J. Mackey University of Oklahoma



Pupil Personnel Policy, School Exclusion, School Governance, Ethics in Education Administration, Best Interests of the Student


This study explored the moral complexity of student drug and alcohol policies that are often disciplinary, punitive, and exclusionary in nature. The Ethic of the Profession (Shapiro & Stefkovich, 2001, 2005, 2010; Stefkovich, 2006), a professional ethical construct for educational leadership and for school workers writ large, was employed as a theoretical framework to evaluate a bounded case of seven school districts’ pupil policies. This research utilized textual analysis of school policies from the school communities represented in the study in addition to interview data employed in a larger systemic study from which this research is drawn. Findings contribute to a fuller understanding of the valuation process of local administrators when drafting policy in relation to an Ethic of the Profession. Practical implications include the impact of such school policies on the immediate and long-range needs of at-risk students.

Author Biographies

Mark E. Stamm, South Williamsport Area School District


William Charles Frick, University of Oklahoma

William C. Frick is an associate professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education, University of Oklahoma. He holds a PhD in educational theory and policy from the Pennsylvania State University. His prior work experience includes fourteen years in the public schools as a teacher, school counselor, principal, and director of curriculum and instruction. Bill’s current research activity includes both theoretical and empirical work related to 1) ethics in educational administration; 2) reinvention of urban communities through connections between school system reform and community revitalization efforts; and 3) broader cultural studies in education addressing issues of identity and schooling. Among his publications are articles that have appeared in the Journal of Educational Administration, the Journal of Beliefs and Values, the American Journal of Education, and Educational Administration Quarterly. His recent book, Educational Management Turned On Its Head, Exploring a Professional Ethic for Educational Leadership: A Critical Reader is published by Peter Lang.

Hollie J. Mackey, University of Oklahoma

Assistant Professor




How to Cite

Stamm, M. E., Frick, W. C., & Mackey, H. J. (2016). An Analysis of U.S. Student Drug and Alcohol Policies through the Lens of a Professional Ethic for School Leadership. International Journal of Education Policy and Leadership, 11(1).

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