Last week’s “semi-covert” ethics forum led by professors from the Hopkins School of Education for the benefit of Secret Service agents may have been planned long before the organization’s recent kerfluffle in Colombia, but that controversy added an extra tinge of urgency to the event. Hopkins has partnered with the Secret Service since 1997, and before the scandal broke, the school expected 20 agents to attend. One hundred showed up.
Although the conference’s focus wasn’t on the Cartagena controversy, the agency did ask that the Hopkins team “retool the event in its context.” That context meant addressing the fact that twelve agents have been accused of soliciting prostitutes when traveling to Colombia with President Obama for the Summit of the Americas. But Hopkins was quick to stress that the ethics forum was not remedial.
Officials declined to release the training’s venue or the specifics of the content. “Basically, we’re discussing what ethics are, and we’re seeing progress,” Christopher Dreisbach, head of the School of Education’s Department of Applied Ethics and Humanities, told the Johns Hopkins News-Letter. “The assumption is that they’re already ethical – they don’t need a lesson in it. We’re trying to examine how they will behave in situations of ethical tension.” Better late than never, we suppose.