For a counselor it’s significant that one must use the code of ethics that identify social, legal and ethical issues within a counselor and client connection, which provides effectiveness and guarantees efficiency in the counseling method. Being a counselor within a high school I am faced with everyday decisions that might or might not be the ideal situation, but it’s important to let the students know that they can come to me with anything and it can be confidential. Most of the time I spend hours talking with a particular group after school is over, but just because it’s five o’clock that doesn’t mean that it’s my time to leave, I owe it to the community to make sure that everyone knows that the student’s will remain in my care until they leave the school. Within the high school age, teens are faced with so many social and media pressures that really catch my attention, and I really have to take self-care very seriously. At an given time, ones situation and weigh heavy on your heart but as long as no one is getting hurt it’s ok to allow the student to speak from their mind.
Most states refer to student and counselors conversation a privilege, confidentiality is key but even that can come to an end if the student has been doing things that the parent should know about. However, if this were to happen the student could lose their trust in you and self-disclosure could be jeopardized. Furthermore, if a student were to tell the counselor that their home life wasn’t the best, sometimes they’ve witnessed domestic violence between their mother and father or that their parents are substance abusers then given the chance that they come to school angry, resulting in a fight then the teacher and counselor can better understand the situation. Most chances because the counselor is aware of the situation that the student was in at home most likely they wouldn’t get expelled from school. For instance let’s say that one of my students that comes to speak with me on a regular bases and has become very comfortable with me sharing very personal issues both good and bad. One of the issues that this particular student (14 years old) has shared is having sex with her boyfriend (15). Due to both student’s there is only one year between the two so it’s not illegal, and she is legally allowed to seek her own medical care without her parent’s permission. Additionally because of the ethical code, there wouldn’t be a phone call home, even if she were in a dangerous situation. A legal situation could arise since the parents of the child isn’t informed that she’s have consensual sex. In the American School Counseling Association Ethical Standards for School Counselors it states in section A.2 that “keeps information confidential unless disclosure is required to prevent clear and imminent danger to the student or others or when legal requirements demand that confidential information be revealed.” ("ACA Code of Ethics ")In which there was no endangerment. It also states in section B.1.a that the counselor is to talk to the client about whom, how and when information should or shouldn’t be shared with someone. ("ACA Code of Ethics ") Therefore the counselor couldn’t speak with the student’s parent’s because she wasn’t in harms way and the student didn’t give consent to share her personal story in which she told behind closed doors sworn to secrecy. Some might argue the immediacy of the calling, since being sexually active at such a young age can be risky not only physically but emotionally as well. In section A A.2.g within the ACA Code of Ethics is states that “recognizes his/her primary obligation for confidentiality is to the student but balances that obligation with an understanding of the legal and inherent rights of parent’s and guardians to be the guiding voice of their children’s lives.” ("ACA Code of Ethics ")
The dispute might lean towards this concluding assertion as a reason to notify the student’s parents,