Honor Code Reporting And Awareness Bill

Sponsored by LHS Student-Faculty Senate, passed on in 2003

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Teachers, in consultation with their department heads, will report substantial breaches of the Lexington High School (LHS) Honor Code for which a student incurs academic or disciplinary consequences to the student’s dean and counselor. Each incident will be recorded and held in strict confidence by the dean and counselor except when necessary to report to the Board of Appeals.

The accumulation of more than one breach will be interpreted as a pattern of intellectual dishonesty and will result in an automatic one day suspension. Students have the right to appeal this ruling via the Board of Appeals as per the LHS constitution. The Board will determine if the student’s record constitutes a pattern of intellectual dishonesty, where a pattern is defined as multiple breaches of the LHS Honor Code. In making its determination the Board will require input from both the reporting teacher(s) and accused student. If the board finds that there is such a pattern, it must recommend disciplinary action. The board will weigh heavily the character of the breaches when deciding what disciplinary action(s) to recommend.

This bill places no limits on the current LHS Honor Code, which allows for individual breaches of the code to be met with the full range of disciplinary consequences, up to and including expulsion.

At the beginning of each school year, in homeroom, every student will be furnished with a printed copy of the LHS Honor code and this bill. Students will be provided adequate time in a supervised environment to read the code and the terms of the reporting bill and ask questions about them. Then each student will be required to sign a form which indicates that he or she has read the code and understands the terms of it and the potential penalties as well a his or her rights of appeal if accused of a violation. This form will not be construed as an acknowledgment by each student that he or she will abide by the code, though it is the school’s hope that they will. It will only be a formal certification that they understand the code and the consequences of violating it.

Rationale

Anecdotal evidence suggests that clear breaches of the LHS Honor Code are not incurring official disciplinary action. Additionally, student breaches of the honor code appear to occur with an unsettling frequency.

This bill provides for the collection of quantifiable data on student behavior and allows students with a pattern of intellectual dishonesty to be identified and appropriate action to be taken. Currently, many infractions of thehonor code are handled informally, by providing a zero on the assignment, etc.. this now means that no record of the infraction be taken. Currently, many infractions of the honor code are handled informally, by providing a zero on the assignment, etc. This now means that no record of the infraction exists. Without such a record it is conceivable that one could incur multiple infractions across classes and grade levels.

Acts of intellectual dishonesty adversely affect the entirely of the Lexington community. Therefore, the consequences for such behavior should be appropriately stern.

Although LHS has had an honor code on record for a number of years which is printed in the Student handbook each year, few students really know of its existence, understand the terms of it or have had an opportunity to ask questions about it.

Passage of this bill may result in serious consequences for violating the honor code. Therefore, students should have clear understanding of what is in the code and should formally acknowledge that they have read it and understand what may occur if they violate it.

No honor code can be effective unless that organization which adopts it (in this case the LHS Student Faculty Senate) does everything in its power to inform its constituency of the code’s existence and the potential consequences for violating it.

Using the Board of Appeals as the mediating agent in any dispute over a potential honor code violation will serve to give that agency some long overdue power and responsibility.