The Honor Code
The Honor Code of Fort Worth Country Day has been established to instill trust, integrity, and respect for others in ways that create and maintain an environment of trust based on a balance between responsibility and freedom, providing each individual with an opportunity for great self-development.
Definition of Honor
The basic components of honor are honesty, integrity, trust, and respect for oneself, others and their property. The Fort Worth Country Day Honor Code is designed to uphold these qualities. The Honor Code is not only a system of expectations within the School, but a way of life for the members of the FWCD community. Honor is ultimately a matter of personal responsibility. The Honor Code, however, is a way for each individual to raise the whole community to a higher level of trust and freedom. By acting honorably and trusting that others are acting honorably, the individual contributes to a positive, trusting environment that aids personal and community development. Students, faculty and administration are equally charged with the responsibility for promoting the principles of honor and creating this atmosphere of trust.
Statement of Honor
Under these principles of honor, the Honor Code includes:
- Expectations: Students are expected not to lie, cheat or steal. Students are expected to be honest and forthright in all communications with members of the FWCD community. Students are expected to respect the personal property of other community members. Students are expected to take responsibility for completing their own academic work as defined by the individual teachers. It is the students’ responsibility to understand what constitutes cheating. Students should assume that all work is to be done individually unless the teacher states that collaboration on a particular assignment is permitted. It is the teacher’s responsibility to establish clear expectations for all assignments.
- Reporting Violations of the Honor Code: The Honor Code cannot function if those living under it do not hold others accountable for their actions. Every member of the Upper School community has the moral obligation to confront students who have violated the Honor Code and to report the violations to the Honor Council. While failure to do so in itself does not constitute a punishable offense, this expectation is crucial to the maintenance of the Honor System. However, if students are found guilty of violating the Honor Code, they are required to reveal the identity of any accomplices involved in the infraction.
- Annual Signing of the Honor Pledge: In keeping with the above expectations, the Honor Code requires that every student recite the following Honor Pledge at the beginning of each school year, agreeing to uphold the expectations of the Honor Code: “On my Honor, I will not lie, cheat or steal, and I agree to act honorably in everything I do at Fort Worth Country Day.” After reciting the Honor Pledge, with their classmates as witnesses, students will sign their names in the Honor Book below the Honor Pledge, which will be written at the top of each page in the Honor Book. Any student that joins FWCD after the beginning of the school year will recite the pledge and sign the Honor Book in front of the Honor Council.
- Signing of the Honor Statement: The Honor Code further requires that every student write and sign the following Statement of Honor on every test or other graded assignment: “On my Honor, (the student’s signature)” Signing the pledge and statement serves as a reminder of the concepts that the Honor Code represents. A person’s signature is a promise of honesty and integrity.
The Honor Council
The Honor Council is an elected body of students responsible for supervising the maintenance of the Honor Code, which includes dealing with violations of the Honor Code and educating the community about the expectations of the Honor Code. Members of the Honor Council will offer guidance and give access to the Honor System to everyone in the community. A student who witnesses a violation of the Honor Code may bring that information to an Honor Council member as well as to a teacher or administrator. The composition and duties of the Honor Council and the actual procedures for dealing with an Honor Code violation are explained in the Honor Council Charter.