To accomplish our vision and mission statements, the discipline system at Hope Christian School is designed to create a safe environment for our Hope community that “nurtures the spiritual, academic, physical, and social growth of our students.” We seek to establish a clear standard of behavior based upon Biblical truth.
The Hope community believes this safe and nurturing environment is best achieved within an atmosphere of clear consequences for unacceptable behavior tempered with grace and mercy. Our students must understand that their choices produce consequences--positive consequences for honorable behavior and negative consequences for dishonorable behavior. Students should understand they will be held accountable for their actions.
Attendance at Hope Christian School is a privilege. The hope and desire of the Hope community is that each student will remain a member of Hope for as long as he/she chooses. However, because of poor choices or habitual discipline problems, it may become necessary to remove a student from the Hope community.
The instrument adopted by Hope Christian School to implement this philosophy of discipline is the Hope Christian School Honor Code.
Out of a desire to honor God, I commit to a lifestyle which reflects trust, honesty,
and respect for my peers, authority, and all property.
I acknowledge this lifestyle does not condone lying, cheating, stealing,
and other dishonorable acts.
Committing to this code demonstrates my respect for
Hope Christian School as we strive to
glorify God and love others.
The Honor Code is not only at the core of the discipline system at Hope Christian School, it is also the foundation of our school community. The Honor Code begins with a commitment by each student to personal integrity, is expanded by a refusal to condone dishonorable behavior, and is strengthened by support of appropriate consequences for those who violate the Honor Code. The system will be as successful as the members of the community are willing to hold one another accountable.
MOTIVATION FOR THE HONOR CODE
At the heart of Hope’s mission statement is the sincere hope for a truly Christian community. For this mission to be realized, the members of the community must commit to follow the two greatest commandments as expressed by Jesus Christ in Matthew 22:37, 39. The first is “to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” The second is “to love your neighbor as yourself.” These two commands have called our school community to formulate the Honor Code as the inspiration and core of an honorable lifestyle. The desire of Hope is that its members individually and corporately strive to walk worthy of the calling to faithfully follow Christ.
VISION OF AN HONORABLE COMMUNITY
An honorable community is one of mutual trust, honesty, and respect. It is a community where each individual is expected to live honorably and each individual is expected to encourage his/her peers to live honorably as well. It is a community where students do not feel compelled to keep their belongings locked up, where students do not feel the pressure from peers to lie and cheat, and where students are not ridiculed for their commitment to live honorably.
An honorable community is more than a commitment to follow a set of rules. It is a commitment to an honorable lifestyle. It is our hope that our students’ commitment to an honorable lifestyle will far outlive their time at Hope. We hope our students see the benefits of an honorable lifestyle and allow the principles of the Honor Code to govern all aspects of their lives.
The Honor Code is intended to work for the students, not against them. It is structured to encourage them to live with integrity. The effectiveness of the Honor Code is directly proportional to the level of student ownership. Ultimately, the strength of the Honor Code rests with our students’ commitment to follow it and their commitment to hold each other accountable.
HONOR CODE VIOLATIONS
The following is a list of the most common Honor Code violations, including specific examples of dishonorable behavior.
Definition: Any action, appearance, or statement, which an individual knows, or should know, to be untrue, given with intention to deceive. Examples of lying include, but are not limited to:
- Making a false statement in an attempt to gain an unfair advantage
- Giving false excuses and explanations for being absent or tardy
- Bending the truth or pretending not to understand information that one is expected to know
- Lying by omission
- Leaving out pertinent information in order to gain an unfair advantage or to protect others
- Receiving permission from a teacher to go one place and going someplace else
Definition: Taking or attempting to take property, whether physical or intellectual, without right or permission. Examples of stealing include, but are not limited to:
- Taking something without permission of the owner even if the intention is to return whatever is taken
- Borrowing something without permission even if the intention is to return whatever is borrowed
- Finding something and making little or no effort to locate the rightful owner
- Unauthorized removal of academic materials from a teacher
Definition: Using or attempting to use unauthorized assistance or advantage in academic work that is submitted as one's own individual efforts or the giving of such assistance to others. Examples of cheating include, but are not limited to:
- Turning in work that was not entirely done by the student and giving the impression that the work was done by the student
- Copying homework without the consent or approval of the teacher
- Using translation sites off the internet or software in foreign language classes
- Using workbooks from a previous year with answers already written in
- Working with others on any assignment which is intended to be an independent effort
- Dividing up work among group members that was intended to be done together
- Using a similar assignment from a past class (book report, essay, etc.)
- Allowing one’s academic work to be used in place of another’s
- Having notes or textbooks visible during tests or quizzes
- Giving or receiving information about a test, quiz, or other assignment prior to starting the assignment (This includes receiving from someone unauthorized specific test questions or information about topics included in the assignment.)
- Glancing at someone else’s test or quiz or allowing someone to glance at your test or quiz during the administration of the test or quiz
- Using a calculator when instructed not to use it
- Not telling your teacher that the score on your test is added wrong
- Not telling your teacher when a wrong answer was not marked wrong
- Instead of reading the original book or original literary work:
- Reading a condensed version
- Seeing the film or video
- Using Cliff’s Notes without permission
- Reading an English version of a work assigned in a foreign language
Definition: literary theft, misrepresentation, and falsification. Explanations of plagiarism include, but are not limited to:
- To plagiarize is to steal someone’s ideas or thoughts or to borrow dishonestly from another.
- To sign one’s name to a daily assignment or major work is to declare that work totally one’s own. By not clearly marking the source of the information, thoughts or ideas, a student commits plagiarism.
- To copy directly, paraphrase, or summarize with premeditation and without documentation is to deliberately plagiarize.
- Inadvertent documentation mistakes that allow another’s words, thoughts, or ideas to be credited as one’s own due to improper referencing is considered plagiarism.
- “Plagiarism is a serious violation of another person’s rights, whether the material stolen is great or small; it is not a matter of degree or intent” (“Academic Writing at WFU: Statement on Plagiarism”).
- Plagiarism is prevented when the proper form of documentation is followed.
STANDARDS FOR PROPER DOCUMENTATION
Items that must be documented are facts, quotations, paraphrases, and summaries. Writing that expresses one’s own thoughts, experiences, or interpretations and is stated in one’s own words does not require documentation. Also, when information is common knowledge or is from a specific text, it does not need citation. As a standard for the proper documentation, Hope will use the MLA Handbook for both middle and high school. Students will receive specific written instructions and examples of appropriate and inappropriate referencing at the beginning of each school year.
OTHER DISHONORABLE ACTS
These acts include, but are not limited to, the use of alcohol, the use of illegal drugs, sexual immorality, inappropriate and abusive language, student and teacher disrespect, and vandalism. Students suspected of drug or alcohol use may be asked to take an immediate drug test at a school-approved drug testing facility at the parent’s expense.
DEALING WITH SUSPECTED HONOR CODE VIOLATIONS
If a student suspects a classmate has committed an Honor Code violation, he/she has several options:
- Discuss the potential violation with the student and give the student an opportunity to turn himself/herself in to the administration. *
- Go to an administrator or a teacher with the suspected violation.
*If the violations are true and the violator makes any type of threat, the student being threatened should report the violator to the administration.
Based upon the principles established in Galatians 6: “If another Christian is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path”, this conversation is best handled with an attitude of care and concern for the suspected violator and not with an attitude of harshness or reprisal. In an honorable community, students have a responsibility to “help each other back on the right path.” This policy does not leave room for students to discuss (gossip) about suspected violations among themselves. Gossip falls under the category of “other dishonorable behaviors” and is an Honor Code violation itself.
If a member of the faculty or staff suspects an Honor Code violation, after discussing the incident with the student, he/she is obligated to turn in the violation to the administration. Once an Honor Code violation has been reported, the administration will assign disciplinary consequences to fit the violation and student.
CONSEQUENCES FOR HONOR CODE VIOLATIONS
The seriousness and nature of an Honor Code violation as well as the student’s previous behavior, in large part, determines the consequences. The most serious violations will be sent from the administration committee to the superintendent with a recommendation of dismissal. Consequences for Honor Code violations that do not warrant a recommendation of dismissal include, but are not limited to:
Students that commit an Honor Code violation may be placed on behavioral probation. Another Honor Code violation or other serious discipline problem could put the student’s future at Hope in jeopardy. Probation is for, but not limited to, two semesters. Any student on probation at the end of the school year will be evaluated by the administration committee to determine whether he/she will be allowed to return in the fall. A student’s disciplinary record, teacher recommendations, and in some cases, an interview will be used to evaluate the student’s future.
- Probation from the National Honor Society
Because membership in the National Honor Society is based partially on character and integrity, a student in the NHS that is found guilty of an Honor Code violation is placed on probation for a period of 18 weeks. At the end of the 18 weeks, a student may make a written request to the NHS sponsor and high school principal to be taken off probation. Provided the student’s disciplinary record over the past 18 weeks has reflected honor and integrity, the student will be taken off probation and reinstated as a member of the National Honor Society.
Students who hold a school or class office will be removed from those positions of leadership.
If the Honor Code violation involves academic work (homework, tests, quizzes, papers, projects, etc.), the student will receive consequences as outlined in the HCS student handbook.
If the presence of a student at school would jeopardize the safety of others in the Hope community or cause a disruption in the normal operations of the school, the student may be suspended. There are also some serious violations that may warrant expulsion.
Many behaviors are consistent from classroom to classroom, such as respect for the teacher, respect for fellow students, and being on time. Other behaviors may be acceptable in one classroom and unacceptable in another, depending on such factors as teacher style and course content. For example, certain behaviors are acceptable in PE class but not in an English class. Each classroom teacher is responsible for communicating his/her distinct discipline policies and consequences to the students. These consequences may include reprimands, detention, special seating arrangements, or other appropriate measures.
OFF CAMPUS BEHAVIOR
Once a student decides to attend Hope, certain responsibilities accompany that choice. Attending Hope Christian School means that wherever a student goes, the name of Hope goes with him/her. Each student’s actions will be judged as an extension of the reputation of Hope. That responsibility must be taken seriously, especially since our name does include the name of Christ. It should be that members of the Hope community would always desire to conduct themselves in a way that brings honor to the name of Christ. All individuals are responsible to conduct themselves in a way that does not dishonor what Hope desires to represent. Bearing a name with honor is a grave responsibility and must be considered at all times. Hence, Hope Christian School must care what all its community members do both on and off campus since an honorable reputation is to be highly valued. “A good name is to be more desired than great riches.” Proverbs 22:1a
Violation of the Honor Code on or off campus will have consequences.
DISCRIMINATION AND HARASSMENT
The Hope Christian School community is expected to be one of respect and reconciliation. Therefore, student or teacher disrespect will not be tolerated. Students are to refrain from words or actions that demean, insult, bully, or threaten others. Even if a student considers his or her disrespectful comments or behavior to be a joke, such activity will be considered a violation of the Honor Code. Verbal attacks on one’s sex, race, religion, or ethnic origin is not acceptable. Explicit or subtle references of a sexual nature, e-mails, text messages, voicemails, or other use inappropriate use of social media, notes, letters, comments, or jokes with sexual overtones, obscene language, unwanted physical advances or the invasion of one’s personal space have no place within the Hope community. Any student engaging in such activity will be considered in violation of the Honor Code.
THE HONOR CODE ALWAYS APPLIES
Always assume that the Honor Code is in effect. Whether openly stated or not, the principles and policies of the Honor Code are continually applicable.