The task of the school counselor is to provide advice and support to students who find themselves in a difficult life situation. While it is essential that a counselor safeguards the interests of pupils and maintains confidentiality, there are some situations when parents should be notified about the child’s ideas or intentions. Thus, the ASCA Ethical Standards state that the “primary ethical obligation for confidentiality to the students [should be balanced] with an understanding of parents’/guardians’ legal and inherent rights to be the guiding voice in their children’s lives” (ASCA Ethical Standards for School Counselors, para. 3). Therefore, disclosing information that may be essential for the pupil’s wellbeing to parents is, in some situation, regarded as a necessity rather than an option.
In this particular case, guided by ASCA Ethical Standards, I would inform the school administrator about the situation and see if I am allowed to talk to the student’s parents. I believe informing a student’s parents may be beneficial since in this case, they will have time to adjust to the situation and not be too harsh on their daughter. Such revelations can be a kind of shock during which the parents may say words they may later regret and which can upset the student badly. Talking with parents would help on the one hand to alleviate the negative feelings they may have towards their daughter proposed orientation, and, on the other, would allow them to exercise their right to guidance in their child’s life. The parents may be willing to try to show a child that she is too young to make that choice and still has time for reconsideration.
ASCA Ethical Standards for School Counselors. Web.