The Berkeley Carroll School

Honor Code

Part I: Statement of Values

The Berkeley Carroll School is built on a foundation of honesty, respect, and trust — in a word, honor. It is our aim to make these values an integral part of how we live every day, and it is our expectation that we will support one another as we strive to grow as a community. By acting on these values daily in our school community, we aspire to make honor central to the culture and identity of the school.

Part II: Maintaining Honor

In a perfect world, there would be no need to create an external body to ensure that honor be upheld. However, we are all human, and actions that violate the spirit of honor will occur. When this happens, an Honor Council will conduct hearings to determine the facts of the case and make a recommendation for disciplinary action to the school administration. The Honor Council seeks to cultivate a climate of honorable behavior. Additionally, the Honor Council will act as a review board for the Honor System. It may recommend changes to the system; these changes must be approved by two-thirds of all Upper School students and faculty.

Part III: How the Honor Council Works

I. Honor Violations That May Come Before The Honor Council Include

  • Lying, the deliberate presentation of a false impression or false information.
  • Cheating, the deliberate or unintentional presentation of someone else's work as one's own, or the deliberate sharing of one's own work so that it can be presented as someone else's. It can include, but is not limited to, the use of unauthorized information on any quiz, test, homework, or other assignment.
  • Stealing, the action of taking someone else's property without his or her permission.
  • Vandalism, deliberate defacement or disrespect to school property or the property of someone in the school community.
  • Plagiarism, the deliberate or unintentional presentation of someone else's word's or ideas as one's own. The Honor Council will hear plagiarism cases when the facts of the case are beyond dispute.

Grateful thanks to the Episcopal School of Acadiana for permission to adapt these definitions.

II. Preliminary Steps

After an honor violation is reported to the Upper School Director, the Director works closely with the student leaders of the Honor Council to determine the credibility of the report and to lay the groundwork for a hearing should it be decided to bring the complaint before the Honor Council. Steps in this latter process include informing the accused student and his/her parents that a hearing is being initiated, detailing the accusation in writing, and reviewing the Honor Council's procedures with the accused student.

III. The Hearing

At the Honor Council hearing the accused student is accompanied by a faculty advocate of his/her choice. The Council reviews the case and interviews the parties involved, asking any questions that might arise. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Honor Council makes a recommendation to the US Director and Head of School.

IV. Penalties

The Upper School Director reviews the recommendation of the Honor Council and determines what disciplinary action is appropriate. The nature of the honor violation(s) and the penalties that are put into place are communicated to the Upper School student body by the student co-chairs of the Honor Council at the Monday morning meeting. The information that is provided is generic. The Council does not make public the names of the individuals involved in the case.

Part IV: Community Obligations

Maintaining honor is based on a spirit of trust and requires the commitment of everyone in the community. It is expected that anyone who witnesses an honor violation will take appropriate action. The details of that action may vary.

  • A witness may approach a student who committed an honor violation and urge the student to come forward of his/her own accord to an appropriate person (e.g. the Grade Dean, the Academic Advisor, or the Upper School Director). If the student refuses to do this, it is the expectation that the witness will report the violation directly to the Upper School Director. The witness should inform the student that he/she will report the incident to the Upper School Director if the student does not come forward voluntarily.
  • Alternatively, the witness may simply report the violation directly to the Upper School Director.

When a violation is reported to the Upper School Director, it is his/her responsibility to decide whether it is appropriate to institute an Honor Council proceeding. The Honor Council will strive to maintain confidentiality. However, those who witness an honor violation must understand that the Honor Council cannot consider cases based on anonymous accusations without supporting evidence. It should also be noted that when students who have committed an honor violation come forward themselves, the consequences of their actions will likely be mitigated.

Part V: The Honor Council's Members

Two student co-chairs will lead the Honor Council by coordinating Council meetings and procedures and ensuring group cohesion. They will be elected each spring by a majority vote of the entire Upper School student body, and in order to appear on the ballot, each candidate must (a) be a rising junior or senior and (b) have served at least one term as a representative to the Council in the past. The co-chairs will serve terms of one year and cast a vote in all Honor Council proceedings.

Each of the four grades in the Upper School will elect one representative to the Honor Council; these representatives will be elected by a majority vote of their classmates in the fall. They will serve terms of one year and cast a vote in all Honor Council proceedings.

The faculty of the Upper School will elect two representatives to the Honor Council; these representatives will be elected by a plurality vote of their colleagues in the spring. They will serve terms of one year and cast a vote in all Honor Council proceedings. In order to appear on the ballot, candidates must have been employed at Berkeley Carroll for at least two years.

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