In order to present difficult news in a manner that is most helpful to parents, it is desirable to begin by finding out both what the parents know about the situation and the manner in which they want the information communicated to them
. Because bad news is defined as news that significantly and negatively alters people's view of their future or their children's future (Buckman, 1992), it is clear that school counselors cannot judge the degree of distress generated by the news they present to parents unless they know how parents view their child and the current situation.
In response to what their professors were more likely to communicate to them in courses that discussed ethical or moral issues, 56 percent selected "clear and uniform standards of right and wrong by which everyone should be judged." The other 44 percent responded that their professors had more often communicated to them "what is right and wrong depends on differences in individual values and cultural diversity."
The students also were asked about their own beliefs without regard to what they thought their professors had communicated to them. Some 60 percent of the graduating seniors and 55 percent of the juniors said that they believe there are clear and uniform standards of right and wrong.