The Honor Code
For generations, Episcopal’s Honor Code has guided its students to live with integrity, trust, and respect. From the pledge that new students take within their first few days on campus — “I will not lie. I will not cheat. I will not steal. I will report the student who does.” — to the ways in which honor is regularly explored through the Leadership and Ethics Program, the Honor Code is a way of life at The High School.
“From my first time visiting Episcopal, it was clear to me that the Honor Code is valued by the students,” says Guy Thomas ’17, Chair of the Honor Committee during the 2016-17 school year. “That’s really special, and I wanted to be a part of it. I think that honor and integrity are among the highest qualities a person can have. I wanted to help to instill those qualities in younger students.”
Together, Guy, Tim Rogers ’79 (English teacher and faculty advisor to the Honor Committee) and the Committee’s other nine student and faculty members, share the immense responsibility and privilege that comes with modeling the Honor Code day in and day out, grappling with questions around potential honor code violations, and making recommendations that impact students’ lives in far-reaching ways.
The different perspectives that Tim and Guy bring to their roles, along with their willingness to learn from each other, ensure that each potential Honor Code violation is given serious consideration. Nothing is taken for granted or glossed over.
“Mr. Rogers has taught me to be patient, not to take any shortcuts, and to make sure that we have established a good understanding of what’s going on before we take the next step,” Guy says. “There have been times when I’ve rushed to decision-making without fully thinking it through, and Mr. Rogers, luckily, has been there to say, ‘You know what, let’s think this through. Let’s really talk about this and make sure we reach the right decision.’”
“When someone asks me, ‘How can we expect 17- and 18-year-olds to make a decision about my child?’ I tell them that, collectively, the Committee is very strong. Stronger than any one individual would be,” Tim says. “Being a good listener is really important, and Guy and I have both learned that.”
Of Guy, Tim adds, “He is driven very strongly by conviction. He is marked by a real seriousness of purpose, and when you give him a job, he’s going to take it seriously. In this job, he’s learned that there are benefits to being flexible and looking at a situation and determining what is going to be the best course of action.”
“There have been experiences that have humbled me. I’ve made mistakes and learned from others’ advice,” Guy adds. “Serving as Honor Committee Chair has definitely been my most rewarding Episcopal experience.”