Confidentiality Scenario: Pregnant School Girl

Category: Culture
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School counselors are not required to report the case of teenage pregnancy unless the student showing any potential of self-harm or harming others. The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) [2012] ethical code provides guidelines for school counselors to keep student information confidential while at the same time respecting the rights of guardians and parents. This is a problem for counselors as they work to maintain a balance between parent’s rights and confidentiality of students. As you can see, there is no manual from state law, federal law, and ASCA that guide counselors on the appropriate time to disclose confidentiality to parents. According to ASCA, counselors should keep student information confidential unless there is an imminent danger or legal requirement.

Counselors need to examine several issues surrounding the pregnancy to make decisions about whether to tell about the pregnancy to parents or not. Some of these issues include confirmation of the pregnancy, understanding student relationship with parents, and examine whether the sex was agreed by both male and female and the age difference between both of them, school board policies, and state laws. When understanding the relationship with parents , they need to see if the parent is an understanding parent or not and not an abusive parent. Every state law gives teenagers the right to confidentiality and also allows them to give them permission on telling the parents or not.Therefore, if school counselors do not find any reason that warrants warning parents of their pregnant teenagers; they should encourage them to speak to their parents about the issues.

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The National Organization for Human Service (NOHS) ethical standards provides that school counselors have a responsibility of informing students needing help the limits of their confidentiality before the mentorship begins. The NOHS also provides that counselors should protect the client’s right to privacy and confidentiality unless doing so would cause harm to the client or others. In this case, the counselors should ignore contrary provisions from other guideline sources such as federal, State and local governments. Therefore, issues such as school board policies and head teachers’ requirement should not influence counseling into disclosing information about pregnant teenagers.


  1. ASCA (2012). District Policy and Student Pregnancy. American School Counselor Association.
  2. NOHS. National Organization for Human Services Council for Standards in Human Service Education Code of Ethics (NOHS/CSHSE)
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Confidentiality Scenario: Pregnant School Girl. (2021, May 17). Retrieved from