The election of new Honor Council members for the 2011-12 school year will be held on Thursday morning, June 9, 2011, in 9th, 10th, and 11th grade homerooms.
Class of 2012: top THREE vote-getters will be elected
Antonio L. ’12 (incumbent):
Based on the given prompt, I would understand the temptation to help a friend from another school write a paper for money. I also understand, however, the importance of honesty and integrity inside and outside of school. For many people this dilemma would pose an internal ethical conundrum and rightly so. By compromising one’s own honor to reap a quick financial gain, a basic level of integrity is compromised. Students who are able to understand the principle issue and help guide their peers will have immeasurable impact on that person and their community.
Greer H. ’12:
There are countless temptations students have everyday that threaten their integrity. The stress to receive good grades, the need for social acceptance, and the desire to have money push students towards cheating, plagiarizing, and breaking honor codes. Several of these temptations are illustrated here. I think it’s crucial that students rise above dilemmas like these, not only to uphold their own integrity, but also to pass the values onto peers. It is one thing to hold yourself to high standards, but to spread that message is much more difficult. However, this is key in order to create an honorable school.
Joel P. ’12:
Dishonesty is a taint. When someone is dishonest it taints that community. Our school is an incredible institution which should not be tainted by dishonesty. As such we as a community need to hold ourselves, the students, to a higher standard of integrity. While we are often tempted with dishonesty, such as the student described, only you can give up your integrity. It is my belief that the honor council is in place to help give back integrity to those students who may have lost it yet still reprimand them for their actions.
Jonathan R. ’12:
By writing someone’s essay you are robbing yourself of integrity and character, traits that go far beyond school. It’s easy to preach right and wrong, but a true measure of personal honesty occurs when no one is watching. Having morals is not something that can be purchased; rather, it is something that defines you as a person and it is who we are in the Radnor community. Ultimately, our standards should not be compromised by monetary gain or the substitute for honest work. We owe it to ourselves and our community to be the role models for others to follow.
Katherine K. ’12:
The current generation of high school students live under the pressure to achieve success by earning perfect grades and enrolling into prestigious universities. The moral values of society are decreasing due to the current culture gives the impression only the result matters, not the process, as evidenced by the actions of few students. Students copy homework, cheat on tests, or plagiarize out of desperation, procrastination, or self-depreciation. The perception of morality differs with everyone in life. Live a life without regrets from the unprincipled actions committed in life. “What’s right isn’t always popular. What’s popular isn’t always right.” – Howard Cosell.
Laura O. ’12:
This situation is a prime example of the effect that money and peer pressure have on people. Based on the decision of the student that was offered the money, it also shows how influential people’s integrities are. If a person had honor, they would not take the money and the situation would not take a toll on their principles. This certain situation would not have a direct effect on my integrity but it would make me more aware of the fact that incidents like it happen in our school and I would be fond to make my fellow students aware of it.
Liam H. ’12:
I try not to let pressure affect my decisions in school, especially when it comes to cheating. I see and hear about things like this going on at Radnor. Resisting things like this is not easy especially for teenagers who always need money. I think that by joining the honor council at the high school I will be much less tempted to cheat in any form at all, even if it’s as simple as copying someone math worksheet. Spreading the word on cheating is something I think should happen because it is happening way too often in high schools and even middle schools.
Mike S. ’12:
In this particular situation, if a person were to accept the task of writing another’s essay for money it would firstly go directly against the school’s honor code. Aside from the possible repercussions from the school, however, the situation of doing another student’s work should be considered personally unethical by one’s own moral standards. Unfortunately, the student looking for the essay may not necessarily be punished due to a possible lack of an honor code at their school. As a result, they put their peers in danger by enticing them to act dishonorably because of their own misguided integrity.
Moira M. ’12:
If I were in this situation, I would not accept the student’s offer. Peer pressure is one of the most difficult aspects to deal with in school, especially the pressure to help a friend with a math test or letting someone borrow your French work. Not only do people have an effect on others but also a positive effect can impact someone’s entire life. Spending three years at RHS and being around upperclassmen who have set examples of integrity and honesty has influenced me to do the same. The effect of those on the Honor Council has inspired me spread integrity and honesty throughout RHS.
Molly S. ’12:
Paying someone to write an essay is simply lazy and beneath expectations of a Radnor student. It is the person lying to a teacher and lying to them self. In the end, it will not help the student it will hurt them. I only hope that if someone is in the situation, they will not take the money. Unfortunately, not everybody shares the same values. There are people who believe that there is nothing wrong with this situation. Having a position on the honor council would help me prove that this is wrong and will not be accepted at Radnor.
Paul S. ’12 (incumbent):
I believe that the non-RHS student offering money is morally out of line because he is willing to cheat through plagiarism and he is tempting others to help him cheat. Ideally, a person’s integrity and morals would supersede any temptations, but more commonly and realistically a person’s integrity may bend to fit conveniences and situations. And this compromise that many choose to take has impacted my integrity by forcing me to consider my own morals. But thankfully I realize that I could only be happy and shame-less by being true to myself and earning the things I desire.
Scott S. ’12:
To me, this prompt highlights the importance of being a part of Radnor’s Honor Code. There are many temptations in front of us as students and the opportunity to do work for others is one of them. Participating in this inappropriate act would not only enhance negative integrity for both students but waste the opportunity to do what the Honor Code mandates. Integrity is choosing to follow moral and ethical principles while putting honesty above all else. I would not agree to write this essay and remain firm in my conviction about that decision. Thank you.
Class of 2013: top TWO vote-getters will be elected
Alison M. ’13:
Although the student receiving this essay does not go to my school, and therefore it would seem that this issue does not affect me directly, selling the essay is still wrong. Cheating creates a poisonous school environment in which students sacrifice their principles for the purpose of academic achievement. When one person cheats, the entire school community suffers; dishonesty devalues hard work and destroys a love of learning. When untruthfulness becomes the norm amongst others, it is more difficult to maintain one’s own sense of honor. Integrity thrives when an environment of honesty is encouraged for everyone.
Andrew L. ’13:
How did you feel about Alex Rodriguez, one of the best hitters of this generation, admitting to using steroids in his three seasons with the Texas Rangers? Disappointed, upset, cheated? If someone asked you to write him or her an essay for $20, $30, maybe even $50, would you do it? Knowing what is right is one thing, but acting upon it truly defines one’s character. I believe Abraham Lincoln said it best, "I never had a policy; I have just tried to do my very best each and every day."
Ashley B. ’13 (incumbent):
In this situation, I believe that this RHS student should give up the opportunity for an early payday and let this other school student write his/her own paper. This situation is a problem for both schools: RHS and the other school. From RHS, the student who is asked to write this paper, if they accept, must give up time working on their schoolwork, which might start a chain reaction of cheating: this student asking another to copy their work, cheating on tests, etc. The other school suffers because they have students not completing their own work due to laziness.
Duncan K. ’13:
This problem is hard to solve and the solution is a lot more than just scolding a student, which is usually all I see. Most teachers should try to get to know students to help them. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with having a study group or having a teacher help you, but when you plagiarize work and submit it as your own, you’re just hurting yourself. This situation makes me feel uncomfortable because I always want to know how to problem solve on my own, so I can manage for myself later on in life.
Emily Le. ’13:
It would be a lie to say that every “good” student would turn down the offer. Even the most moralistic people in the world have lapses in judgment. Peer pressure and money both strongly influence everyone, especially young adults. However, what most students wouldn’t realize is that this is the truest test of integrity. Although it may be difficult, someone with a strong conscience would know in their heart that it’s wrong to help a peer falsely represent themselves. For me, it not only goes against the honor code of Radnor but personal standards that I’ve set for myself.
Emily L. ’13:
The attempted bribery of a student to write another’s essay does not seem that uncommon. I believe, though, that this situation is a true test of Radnor students’ integrity, for it is difficult to resist peer pressure and the temptation of money. The student’s honorable reaction has inspired me to follow in his/her footsteps and to spread the integrity, which is what I believe Honor Council is all about. He/she demonstrates that Radnor is not only succeeding in teaching its students what is academically important, but what is morally and ethically important, as well.
Emily S. ’13:
While gaining money for writing an essay is tempting, especially with peer pressure, it is not worth letting somebody else take credit for your own work. Having integrity means being able to show honesty in everything that you accomplish, even when it is not the easy option. It comes along with the satisfaction that you can personally achieve tasks expected from you, and inspires a person to create goals and strive for the best possible in themselves. That satisfaction run solely by individual will is why I complete school work honestly and is also why these students should as well.
Griffin U. ’13:
Some might think that the Radnor students in this situation are not compromising their integrity, for they are not turning in plagiarized work. I do not share this belief. To elaborate, I ask this question: if a Radnor student were to watch one of his/her peers get bullied and not step in, are they not responsible for the childish act? In the plagiarism situation, not only are the students standing by, they’re helping! By allowing another student to infringe upon the honor system that is inherent in education, those Radnor students are delegitimizing the only thing that makes school matter.
Kate L. ’13:
I believe that my integrity will define me throughout my life. If I compromise my values, others will not trust me and I will not have faith in myself. If I want the world to be good and honest, then I also need to be good and honest. In this situation, I would flatly refuse to do anything that I know is not right. Anything I say may not change what the other student ultimately does, but I would try. In the end though, I am only responsible for myself.
Matt L. ’13:
The people you meet every day mold your personality and what you become. They influence every action you make and things that you think. The world would be a better place if it was integrity and honesty and passion the influenced your decisions.
Meredith T. ’13:
This situation is quite difficult, especially for teens our age. We are constantly worrying about how others view us and if we don’t fit into a specific mold, we’re considered outcasts. Personally, I wouldn’t turn in an essay written by another student because of how disappointed my family would be for cheating and how disappointed I’d be at myself for this lapse in judgment. When other people lack integrity, I try and encourage them to believe that they can succeed to the best of their abilities. In the end, I carry myself with the integrity I was raised to have.
Rebecca R. ’13:
I think that this situation, although unfortunate, can occur among high-school students. Some students are willing to do anything to get a good grade on a paper if they don’t feel like working. I think that cheating is wrong and if students want a good grade, they should work hard to earn it. Most students would stick to their morals and do the right thing in this situation, but money and peer-pressure could cause others to lose their integrity and cheat. This has no impact on me; I would never cheat in any situation, or go against my morals.
Stephen R. ’13 (incumbent):
Peer pressure mixed with money is a very persuasive force. It can even be strong enough to move people to make immoral decisions. A perfect example of a situation where this combination moved to challenge the integrity of an individual happened quite recently at RHS. However, the RHS student stuck to his moral values and rejected the offer. Furthermore, the student reported the incident to a teacher. The student showed incredibly moral strength in the face of temptation. The integrity and honor that this student demonstrated should be the example to which we hold our moral standards.
Class of 2014: top TWO vote-getters will be elected
Annabel S. ’14:
When somebody pays a person to cheat, it spreads unethical behavior to two people and the standards of the community are lowered. The integrity of others is necessary for a strong community in general and a good learning environment in particular. Because people in a community work closely with each other, a person’s degree of integrity can have large consequences. A person who cheats or asks others to cheat suggests to me and the community that success is more important than integrity. But a person who refuses an offer to cheat can inspire me to show similar integrity.
Bari M. ’14:
Integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. When people cheat, lie, or furthermore get money to write a paper for another student, I believe that they diminish their principles. When my peers make poor choices concerning school, or their social life it impacts everyone. My personal beliefs get stronger when I see others going against these principles and it makes me want to set a better example for them. Honesty is something that will follow you for the rest of your life. Being honest is a guiding principle for the way I want to live.
Brady P. ’14:
Although peer pressure challenges our ability to make the best decisions, and the temptations of cheating will always be present, it is important to be honest. I think this situation is immoral, and it goes against the purpose of education. The non-Radnor student is not learning anything by paying others to do his work, yet he is receiving credit for what appears to be his own knowledge. This is unfair to every other student and affects that student’s integrity because they are no longer deemed honest and trustworthy. It also impacts my views on integrity because now everyone is not on fair ground.
Candace H. ’14:
Someone cheating at another school doesn’t affect us at Radnor, does it? What if that person got into your first choice for college and you didn’t because their GPA was higher as a result of their cheating? Cheating affects everyone. Once one person cheats, others are likely to cheat too, to keep up. How many times have we justified something with our friends that it is ok because everyone is doing it? We all need to play by the same rules or everyone’s integrity will be negatively affected.
Emily D. ’14:
The fact that Radnor High School students reported the request from an outside student asking them to write an essay for money is encouraging. It reflects that these students have integrity and realize that such a request is wrong and must be brought to the attention of adults and their own peers. I commend their decision not to give in to peer or financial pressure. Hopefully others will be influenced by them in their future decision making. When I recall people making brave and sometimes unpopular decisions it helps me validate and face the difficult choices life sometimes gives us.
Erica F. ’14:
There’s an unspoken rule that my work product represents me. As such, it can’t represent someone else’s. The premise of the essay prompt clashes with my core values. It’s a classic example in which both parties are wronged, perhaps without realizing it. The Radnor outsider would be guilty of plagiarism and would be selling themselves short by failing to do their personal best. The Radnor student would be equally to blame, since short-term financial gain is negated by long-term loss of integrity. Dr. Samuel Johnson once said, “Knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful.” My feelings exactly.
Jane D. ’14:
Radnor, and neighboring communities are aware of how great RHS is, and much of that is due to the high caliber of the faculty and students, their hard work, and integrity. When someone succumbs to peer-pressure, and accepts money to write someone’s paper, it blemishes the reputation that many others have worked so hard to attain. This is unethical, and goes against Radnor’s Honor Code. This affects the people involved, and also impacts everyone else who is ethical, and honest, because, as a result of this wrong act by a few, all Radnor students could now be lumped as cheaters.
Jessica S. ’14:
It is not justifiable to succumb to peer pressure when personal academic integrity and “doing the right thing” is on the line. There is a huge difference between helping someone and writing a paper for them for money. A person bribing an RHS student possesses no integrity or respect towards RHS, his/her school and his/her teacher. Simultaneously, the student who chooses to write such a paper is equally deceitful with his/herself, RHS, and the other school. Furthermore, the student who chooses to write the paper is compromising themself for the sake of peer pressure and money.
Kaleigh L. ’14:
It is important for a student to have integrity because it speaks to his/her character. When a student pays to have an essay written for him/her, he/she is cheating. Not only is the student cheating on his/her paper, the student is cheating himself/herself out of learning and growing as a person. The student is also deceiving his/her parents, teachers, and peers as well as losing their trust. After all, character or integrity is how you act when no one is looking. How do you want to be remembered?!
Lucy B. ’14:
“Hey, I’ll pay you to write my paper.” This question would cause me to question, “Why?” I know I would be asked based on my abilities both in writing and knowledge. Does she not have either of these skills? Plagiarizing is illegal and can ruin the futures of both involved. I would offer to help her by suggesting she write her own paper and I would then “peer-edit” her work. If I wrote her paper, she would not show her true understanding of the topic and use her own skills. I would give her a chance to shine, with her own confidence…not mine!
Sarah K. ’14:
While I have never experienced this kind of situation, I could see it happening, especially in this area where kids have easy access to money. These students may justify the situation by telling themselves they are doing a favor for the person to whom they are giving the money. In return, they are benefiting by getting an essay and a good grade. They probably feel that it is a win/win situation. Personally, I would feel cheated because while I work hard for my grades, these students use their money to advance in their classes.