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Good Decision Making for Students

Teachers, educators and guidance counselors are important in the process to reach children and often have as great or greater influence on them as their parents. In many instances, educators are armed with "insider" information that parents may not be privy to. Oftentimes you don't realize how much of a positive impact you have on a student's life.

Decisions, decisions, decisions, all day long. Remember all the decisions you had to make as a teen? Did you ever wonder if you made the right one or said if I chosen the other option I would be in a different place right now? Was there someone in your life that could provide you with information to help you make the right choice? You are now that someone!

You can help by making sure your students are aware of how the decisions they make can affect their life and their ability to obtain employment. All employment applications will ask information about one's background and some employers are even checking credit report information. When applying for a security clearance, the application will be more in-depth and ask several questions that will be used to access one's character, loyalty, trustworthiness and reliability. Knowing what the questions are and how the decisions they make can affect their eligibility may help teens want to make wiser decisions or at least consider what the repercussions of their decision might be.

The ability to make good decisions as a teen will play an important role when it comes to filling out any application for employment, whether it's for a position that gives them access to classified information or a position that gives them access to someone's bank account.


Listed below are examples of specific questions asked on the Questionnaire for National Security Positions from areas in which teens tend to make the biggest mistakes. By incorporating these points into your curriculum it will help students to understand the impact their behavior may have on their ability to obtain future employment.

  1. Employment Activities - Have you received a written warning, been officially reprimanded, suspended or disciplined for misconduct in the workplace?
  2. Police Record - Have you been arrested by any police officer, sheriff, marshal, or any other type of law enforcement officer?
  3. Illegal Use of Drugs or Drug Activity - Have you illegally used any controlled substance? Use of a controlled substance includes injecting, snorting, inhaling, swallowing, experimenting with or otherwise consuming any controlled substance.
  4. Use of alcohol - Has your use of alcohol had a negative impact on your work performance, your professional or personal relationships, your finances, or resulted in intervention by law enforcement/public safety personnel.
  5. Financial Record - Have you defaulted on any type of loan? This includes loans for which you are a cosigner or guarantor. (Students need to also be aware that if a parent or relative uses their name to obtain credit, this could also have an adverse affect).
  6. Use of Information Technology Systems - Have you introduced, removed, or used hardware, software, or media in connection with any information technology system without authorization, when specifically prohibited by rules, procedures, guidelines, or regulations?

To view the complete Questionnaire for National Security Positions, click here.

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