02 December 2006

School Principal and Pornography: 'Moral' or 'Lifestyle' Issue?

I thought this story was an interesting one from our perspective. A primary school principal was found with 'adult' pornography on his work computer. Parents were very divided over whether this was grounds for dismissal. He was initially allowed to keep his job, but then a couple of days later (which, it's worth noting, included further inspection of the computer concerned), decided to resign.

http://subs.nzherald.co.nz/topic/story.cfm?c_id=283&objectid=10398390
http://subs.nzherald.co.nz/topic/story.cfm?c_id=283&objectid=10399165

I'm interested in this because according to the liberal perspective which it is increasingly taboo to challenge in popular culture, there should be no problem with what a school principal views in private, as long as it does not affect the quality of his work (and in this case he seems in fact to have been an exceptionally high achiever).

Yet it seems this is not what where people's true moral intuitions lie in cases such as this...?

4 Comments:

Blogger Jim said...

Yes, interesting. I guess similarly people mightn't like their gynaecologist working on their organs and then whipping out the back to relax with some porn. Teachers and doctors are maybe thought to require moral character as part of their job, and you can't have moral character just in working hours.

9:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim, why is this different from a gynaecologist working on someone's organ then whipping out the back to have sex with his wife for a non-reproductive purpose?

3:46 PM  
Blogger Anna Christie said...

Viewing porn on his home computer would have been very different than viewing it on a work computer during work time, probably in breach of the computer usage guidelines of his organisation. Thus, further to being a moral and/or lifestyle issue, it is an issue of workplace ethics. He showed himself unsuited to the leadership role of principal.

9:08 PM  
Anonymous Alison said...

i imagine this has less to do with work place ethics, though these conveniently cover up our pretenses to neo liberal attitudes whilst maintaining a deeper sense of morality with regard to those working in the vicinity of (our) children. it's easy to talk this one away with liberal dialogue, until you imagine your child's school principal viewing porn whilst working (therefore exhibiting some degree of poor self control.)

10:07 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home