In any case, someone in the community who knew what had happened decided to tell someone (usually on social media). This made life even more difficult for the school community when people discovered that the school had taken steps to hide behaviors they knew were wrong. The people who approved these agreements wanted to protect the reputation of their school and sincerely believed that they were doing the right thing for their community. But in any case, history returned to them, knowing that the school had taken steps to hide them. And what happened to the people whose behavior was at fault? Everyone left to find a job at another school. The use of confidentiality agreements in such situations is legal, but unethical. Our experience shows that behaviour and border crossings are often seen as “low-level concerns”. As a result, they often remain unre reserved, each does not seem significant enough to take action. But when they are all assembled, they become “something.” And while the people incriminated are no longer the problem of their home school, it is likely that they will repeat the same behaviors in their new schools, which may involve significant border crossings with students. It is very likely that each person will continue to use their power and authority to unduly influence students and their families. Are these students and their families no longer earning? Wouldn`t the principals of their new schools want to know exactly what they are dealing with? Confidentiality agreements (or NDAs, as they are often called) may have a place in protecting inventions and organizational ideas, but they should never be used to hide behaviors that expose others to the risk of harm and abuse, mentally or physically.
Terminate confidentiality agreements. Three different schools. Three different countries and cultures. Three different confidentiality agreements. They had one thing in common: to conceal and remove unacceptable (and even immoral) behavior. But none of them did. I look forward to the ongoing discussions in 2020 with CIS members and colleagues in the field of international education, in the hope that together we can find another, fairer, more effective and strategic way to protect our organizational reputation while protecting the staff and students in our custody and our wider community. And that`s the year ahead! My intention is to create connections, promote recognition, study borders, and remove barriers that prevent us from doing what is right.