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The Vital Role of Honor Codes in the Structure of American High Schools

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The classroom environment offers positive insight and new ideas but lurches with cheating scandals and bold noncompliances. To ameliorate the presence of dishonesty in the classroom, many schools implement honor codes with the sole purpose intended to cultivate integrity. The honor code system has been in place since the founding of various American high schools. Throughout the years it has been evident that honor code policies may not prove effective, requiring revision to ensure the acceptance of these policies as well as perseverance to give the student body a sense of responsibility and create a fair and equal learning environment.

The most effective honor codes are those implemented by students who stay loyal to the school’s policies and influence their peers to emulate their actions. One area of concern for schools while enforcing such codes is opposition amongst the student population. Many students seem to form their own opinions about specific directions and policies the school board enforces. Students who feel strongly against the official rules of the facility may be prone to rebel which turns into mass chaos for school officials. “Encouraging student involvement in developing community standards’, makes students stick to their promise if they opine in the processing of a strict policy for themselves and their peers. Further, this causes a chain of action in student behavior: if peers see others obeying the rules they are more inclined to follow them as well. Not only does the involvement of students prove beneficial to the school, but it also helps students to build on their character skills. Holding a position of authority as a student instills expertise in leadership and responsibility. The authority of Students [part of a] Honor Committee, requires interaction between peers and school staff which builds vital communication skills while doubling as an opportunity to lead the management of school policies. The involvement of the student body generates good ethical behavior and morals to live up to as an individual which will benefit them in their future.

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A just educational environment where students are held responsible for their actions provides every student with an equal opportunity to excel and succeed. The lessons students learn in school are engraved in their minds and continue to linger through every interaction they make. Therefore, if a student takes it upon themself to find a way to cheat through an assignment, they have to understand that such misdemeanors come with consequences. The use of explicit “punishments ranging from suspension to expulsion’, trains students to act in order and to the ideals of school policies. Without an appropriate punishment, students would never change their unpure ways of academic living. Further, if students are not punished, it would be unfair to students who abide by the rules because other students continue to leech off their educational intelligence. The consequences that are put in place for issues like this are deemed as a “reasonable sanction’, amongst more than half the school population. It is vital to ensure that every student understands the effects of their actions so they learn to thrive off only themselves in the real world.

The honor code system holds a vital role in the structure of various school systems, although revisions of these edicts are necessary in order to maintain this authority which allows for the growth of students morally and cognitively. The country’s school systems have the ability to flourish once students live up to the ideals of school honor codes. These students can help our nation transform into an ethical society that can remain everlasting for generations to come.

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The Vital Role of Honor Codes in the Structure of American High Schools. (2022, September 01). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 9, 2022, from
“The Vital Role of Honor Codes in the Structure of American High Schools.” Edubirdie, 01 Sept. 2022,
The Vital Role of Honor Codes in the Structure of American High Schools. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 9 Dec. 2022].
The Vital Role of Honor Codes in the Structure of American High Schools [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Sept 01 [cited 2022 Dec 9]. Available from:
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