Ethics of art and presenting it without the authority

Ethics as defined by the Merriam -Webster
dictionary is a set of moral issues, principals, and/or values. For example, it
is not ethical to waste food. It applies to human beings in many ways, however
the main part of this discussion is ethics as it applies to instructors and the
lessons that are taught here at the Fires Center of Excellence.  Ethics can
be a challenging thought especially when it comes to things like copyright, or
even into the gray area of cheating and plagiarism, but an inappropriate
relationship created between teacher and student can break the moral code of
ethics all together. These challenges are overcome through use of the seven
Army Values, and our Moral compasses.  

There are many things that we as instructors
can do to protect ourselves, the first is to avoid copy right infringement. Of
course, I am talking about taking someone else’s product which was previously acknowledged
by the community as a copy righted work of art and presenting it without the
authority or authorization to do so. An example of this would be using the “Cup
of Tea” video, commonly used by Sexual Assault Response Coordinators(SARC), and
Unit Victim Advocate(UVA) in briefings to explain consent. The video of course was
Copyrighted in 2015 by “RockStarDinosaurPiratePrincess”
and “Blue Seat Studios”. It may be a great learning tool, however without the
permission from the works owner, to the United States Army it can be found in
violation of Title 17, Chapter 5 of the United States Code. Although at the
time of this paper, there was no known Article in the Uniformed Code of Military
Justice(UCMJ) or the Manual for Court Martial(MCM.) Of course, copy right infringement
can be cover under Article 134 of the UCMJ as a catch all. I also believe in
the instances of classroom work, there is a Commander’s Policy that would cover
things like cheating and plagiarism.

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Cheating and plagiarism seem to be two very
slippery slopes these days. It seems there cannot be one without inevitably
having the other. The question is, what is the difference between the two and
how is it affecting the instructors? The defrauding the system or even
deceiving in some way, can is categorized as cheating. In the case of a
classroom environment, it refers to a student taking an examination or test in
a dishonest way because of improper access to answers. In a way, plagiarism
almost defines cheating and narrows down the definition of cheating by taking
the work of another person and taking the credit as one’s own, therefore
“cheating” the system and even the student themselves out of what could have
been a valuable learning opportunity. The student who has committed plagiarism
has not only cheated him or herself out of the chance at what is valuable information
about their job. It also wastes the time of the instructor between the
repercussions of the cheating and the lack of knowledge the student has now
obtained by not doing their own work in the first place. It however, creates a
teachable moment for the instructor to can show their students how to learn
from their mistakes and not repeat them later in life. Even today, society
frowns upon cheating; however, plagiarism has become an everyday occurrence
whether it be using the musical hook from that one commercial as the basis for
your next hit song to using and downloading a research paper off the internet
because of varying reasons and hoping that your teacher did not have the common
sense to catch you. Nevertheless, climbing down the rabbit hole of cheating and
plagiarism is a scary experience because everything is seemly a plagiarism of
something else. We decide what is right and wrong and where the gray area is
set by using ethics and our moral compasses. Plagiarism and cheating does not
just affect the student themselves, but the teacher and everyone around them by
creating a ripple effect of negative consequences.

Speaking of negative consequences, the relationship
between a teacher and student is as sacred as the tomb of King Tut. These relationships
are built on trust, respect, and the belief that the teacher wants nothing more
than to give instruction and mentorship to the student. I am of course talking
about inappropriate relationships. These relationships can range from a sexual
relationship, to just being a friend to your students. Your students did not come
to your class looking for love, or for a buddy. It is the responsibility of the
instructors here at the Fires Center of Excellence to give purpose, direction,
and motivation to our students. Our students’ responsibility is to learn as
much as they can about their job and the United States Army. To have an inappropriate
relationship with a student diminishes the integrity of the instructor, the
classroom and the United States Army. Even the act of favoritism breaks the
moral and ethical codes, and has no place in the classroom.

In closing it is important that we all
recognize our moral compass, and which way it points. It can and will guide us
through the toughest of times, whether it be a battle buddy violating copy
right laws, or a student plagiarizing someone else’s work. Our code of ethics
and the seven Army values can and will ensure that we the instructors are able
to maintain order in chaos, and peace in the classrooms of war.