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Bomb Threats Case

In: Business and Management

Submitted By echo773
Words 599
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The first option, to do nothing, is very risky. Although most bomb threats to schools are just a hoax, the price that will be paid if there is an actual bomb, namely human life, is too high to quantify. This is similar to the Ford Pinto case, where after a cost-benefit analysis, they decided the cost of fixing the death traps outweighed the benefits. In looking at this scenario, lawsuits would occur if there was an actual bomb. There would be no way to avoid them because everyone would know the school board met beforehand to discuss available options. Rationalizing option one could be done using egoism. The board could decide to look at the situation from the perspective of themselves. Because most bomb threats are hoaxes, they would have decided that the benefit of bringing everyone into school as usual would outweigh the possible inconveniences that calling school off for a day could cause. Parents would be worried, babysitters would have to be found, school schedules would suffer, the authorities would have to be involved and so on. By using egoism, they would only be worried about themselves and not the benefits to the students, teachers, and parents who may have objected to sending children to school with a possible bomb threat. Option two could be supported by enlightened egoism. Enlightened egoism still focuses on one’s best interest, but it does also take into account the feelings of those who will be affected by the decision. This would be similar to my reasoning used for option one, but instead of them choosing to go through the school day like normal, by considering others (teachers, students, parents and their subsequent reactions) they could choose to cancel school but lie about the reason. Specifically, they could decide that the potential backlash from the public to be too detrimental to their reputation. However, similar to option one, they may not want to cause a public panic and then have to field all the reactions and inquiries, thus giving them a reason to say the water main is broken. Ultimately, the decision would still benefit them, because the public would be none the wiser and they would also be preventing potential casualties from canceling class. Finally, option three supports telling the truth. Utilitarianism could support this. Utilitarianism takes a situation and calculates the harms and benefits of the decision on those that would be affected by the decision. In determining the harms, besides the obvious potential for loss of life, there is also the inconvenience of calling school for the day for something that is likely not serious. If possible they should have gotten a bomb squad in during the night and kept the public updated. The benefits would be the saving of lives if the bomb threat was real and from a student’s viewpoint and day class is cancelled is a great day. When weighing the harms as opposed to the benefits, saving lives should win. Also, the public has a right to know when they are being threatened. They should not be lied to merely to stop wide-spread panic and the resulting frenzy. In looking at the harms of using option two, if word got out that it was a bomb threat and not a broken water main there would be consequences. Using utilitarianism to evaluate these alternatives would have brought this fact to light. The school board would have been truthful about the threat because people hate to be lied to, especially when there is no good reason for it except for saving yourself some inconvenience.…...

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