The Honor Code enables the School to cultivate a level of trust that is essential to our community.
Honor Education at Episcopal
The students, faculty, and staff of Episcopal all sign the Honor Code, agreeing not to lie, steal, or cheat. The Honor Code enables the School to cultivate a level of trust that is essential to our community. While it’s easy to recall that the Honor Code addresses lying, stealing, and cheating, it’s more of a challenge to live up to all the nuances of the Code. For example, a lie of omission is just as dishonest as an overt lie. “Borrowing” without permission is tantamount to stealing. Copying another student’s homework assignment is cheating just as much as is copying off of a classmate’s paper during a test. At Episcopal, we stress a healthy sense of loyalty. That is, one’s loyalty to the School in reporting Honor infractions is more important than a misguided loyalty that causes one to cover-up – and therefore condone – a friend’s violation of the Honor Code.
No doubt, it is challenging for young people to grow in honor and measure up to the School’s expectations. Therefore, we need help from all the families in the School. Please reinforce at home all that we try to do on campus to teach honor and integrity. A worthy goal for all of us would be to make honor not just a requirement for school, but a way of life for all the years after one’s formal schooling is completed.
Making the Honor Code at Episcopal work requires three major emphases: trust, security, and education. Trust is demonstrated when students leave their backpacks unattended or when members of the community take one another’s word. Security counterbalances the trust; security is demonstrated when teachers proctor tests and when students lock belongings in their lockers. The education component must be an ongoing and ever-present emphasis on the Honor Code in every class, team, performing group, and club.
The Honor leadership at the School is shared by students and adults. When a breach occurs, adults investigate and determine if the matter should go before the Honor Council. The Honor Council, composed of Upper School students, determines if the Honor Code was in fact violated and, if so, it recommends a package of consequences. Care is taken to deal with students in an age-appropriate manner. Two faculty members work with the Honor Council in dealing with such situations. Moreover, every student, teacher, staff member, parent, and guardian is charged with advancing the cause of integrity and making Honor pervasive in our community.