Vol. 11 No. 1 (2016): An Analysis of U.S. Student Drug and Alcohol Policies through the Lens of a Professional Ethic for School Leadership

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 and its Model for Students’ Best Interests (Shapiro & Stefkovich, 2016; Stefkovich, 2013), 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 they are 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 students deemed as at risk.

Published: 2016-06-15