Honor Code Essay

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A number of high schools, colleges, and universities have adopted an honor code to cultivate integrity amongst students at their institution. These principles vary from cheating to tardiness, to plagiarism and have garnered praise from multiple outlets for apparently being successful in preventing cheating and enforcing punishment for those who break the rules. However, others like myself, criticize the honor code due to skepticism in its abilities to prevent such rule breaking, its success in being enforced, and whether it would actually convince a student to not cheat. If Windham High School were to establish an honor code, it would be a failure given that it would not encourage students to abstain from breaking it. Academic institutions…show more content…
However, those attending Harvard question the validity of the system and are skeptical of its effectiveness, saying, “critics – especially Harvard students – are skeptical that signing a piece of paper will suddenly cause a cheater to change his ways.” Essentially, the only thing that will determine a student’s behavior and integrity (or lack thereof) is whether they choose to conduct themselves in a proper manner, not the honor code. In addition, the article also suggests that if an “honest” student was surrounded by “cheater” students, the dishonest culture would advocate for the the student to also partake in illicit behavior due to pressure from peers. From my perspective, this wouldn’t just fail to effectively promote virtue across Windham High School’s student body, but the practice of encouraging an honors system would lead to unfortunate implications as student’s will conduct themselves in a stealthier manner as they attempt to evade authority and punishment in their efforts break rules. A decision such as this one made at Windham High School would also be subjected to this similar criticism as this culture of honesty vs integrity when discussing cheating, plagiarism, and other forms of rule breaking can also be seen here at Windham High

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