Is Dimond’s Honor Code Effective?

Most schools throughout the nation take it upon themselves to implement an honor code that prevents academic dishonesty.

The honor code at Dimond High School requires each student to sign a piece of paper at the beginning of the year, promising he will not commit academic dishonesty.

The punishments range from failing an assignment, to failing the class.

However, is Dimond High School’s honor code effective?

And what can be done to improve it?

A study done by the American Psychological Association showed that half of high schools students admitted to cheating at least once within the span of a year.

Furthermore, a study done by Donald McCabe, PhD, a former professor at Rutger University, and expertise on college education, claims two-thirds of college students commit academic dishonesty.

Although these statistics are disappointing, they are not surprising due to how much pressure is put on students to perform well academically.

Erin Moody, a Dimond junior, said, “Due to the competitive nature that high school has evolved into, students have become desperate to achieve perfect grades. If they cannot do this honestly, many of them will rely on cheating.”

These statistics also show that some form of preventative measures need to be taken when it comes to cheating.

However, some students see no point in an honor code, considering how many students get away with cheating anyway.

Kenzie Lindemann, a junior at Dimond, said, “Our school doesn’t need an honor code because nobody cares whether somebody is cheating or not. Not to imply that I cheat, just that I have seen many students get away with it.”

Moody echoed these sentiments.

She said, “An honor code system does have a good theory behind it, it is simply not possible to attain honestly when dishonesty is all some people have ever known.”

She continued, “The kids and young adults who choose to abstain from cheating are not doing so because they have the honor code in mind, but because they are relying on honest individual characteristics.”

Despite this lack of faith that many students have in any form of an honor code, others think that with revision, an honor code is a practical way to prevent cheating.

Some students believe that the best way to improve Dimond’s honor code is by including students in more of the process when it comes to reprimanding violators.

Dimond Junior Dolan Drury said, “Dimond needs to include students within the Honor Code and engage them in the issue of academic dishonesty so that they can help enforce these rules and also create an environment where it is common knowledge that academic dishonesty is wrong.”

He continued, “By increasing the dialogue between the students and their participation within the school system and its rules, students would be much more likely to follow them.”

Other students believe the honor code can only be improved by incorporating consistent reminders about the consequences of academic dishonesty into the school’s curriculum.

Myah Precie, a junior at Dimond, said, “The school should remind people every semester of the consequences and punishments to keep it fresh in their minds and prevent further issues.”

Despite differing opinions about honor codes, there is no doubt that academic dishonesty is a serious issue that requires a proactive solution.