Honor and integrity sit at the heart of the Berkshire community and are the basis of student life at Berkshire. Students understand that they are at all times to act honestly in all aspects of life at Berkshire, and the Honor Code places in their hands the responsibility for honorable conduct as a way of life. Founded on the basic principles that a student's word is their bond, that a student respects the integrity of personal property, that a student models academic honesty, and that a student’s conduct is based on courtesy and concern for others, the Berkshire School Honor Code highlights the School’s commitment to these values and provides a process for ensuring that they are promoted and perpetuated.
PREAMBLE OF THE HONOR CODE
The cornerstone values of Berkshire School are honesty and integrity. The Honor Code codifies and symbolizes our collective commitment to these values. We believe that it is every community member’s personal responsibility to uphold them by adhering to the spirit and the letter of Berkshire School’s Honor Code.
CONSTITUTION OF THE HONOR CODE
Article 1: Violations
• Academic Violations: plagiarism, cheating, lying with respect to academic matters
• Social Violations: theft, vandalism, lying with respect to non-academic matters
• Violations associated with an Honor or Discipline Committee proceeding: it is a violation of the Honor Code to lie, mislead, or evade questions during an appearance before the Honor or Discipline Committee.
Article 2: Process
Any student who has violated the Honor Code may be required to appear before the Honor Committee or the Discipline Committee. In general, Academic Violations of the Honor Code are heard by the Honor Committee while Social Violations are heard by the Discipline Committee (whose composition and procedures are detailed under Disciplinary Response).
The Honor Committee is a standing committee of student leaders, faculty members and a non-voting Chair. When the Honor Committee convenes to hear a case, it consists of three student members, three faculty members, and the Chair. On occasion, circumstances may necessitate convening a Committee that consists only of adults. The student appearing before an Honor Committee has the right to be supported in that appearance by their Advisor, Form Dean, and a student leader. The Honor Committee hears the case, which includes a period of questioning from the Committee, and makes a recommendation to the Head of School.
Article 3: Consequences
The Honor Committee generally recommends the following consequences to the Head of School but may offer others if circumstances warrant:
• Warning with Respect to all Future Violations of the Honor Code
• Warning + Suspension
Upon receiving the recommendation from the Honor Committee, the Head of School will impose a sanction on the student, taking both the recommendation of the Committee plus any other pertinent information or circumstances into account.
Article 4: The Honor Pledge
The phrase “I pledge my honor” is short for “I pledge my honor that I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid” and should be written on work handed in for credit and followed by a signature. On work submitted electronically, it should be typed out and followed by the student’s name. Requiring and writing the Honor Pledge provides a constant reminder to all members of the community that honor and integrity inform our daily lives at Berkshire. On exams and large papers, the phrase should be written out in full.
Article 5: Promotion and Perpetuation
The preamble and the constitution are explained to all students at the beginning of every academic year. In addition, the Honor Committee especially, but all members of the community may take whatever measures it deems necessary to promote and perpetuate Berkshire School’s Honor Code.
PLAGIARISM AND CHEATING
Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to, presenting as one’s own work an idea or product taken from another source, or using another person’s ideas, concepts or language without proper documentation. To avoid plagiarism, students must cite everything that is not the direct result of their own thinking. Paraphrases (the translation of facts and ideas into your own words) must also be cited. Single words or phrases that are particularly appropriate or illuminating, the organization of ideas, and the ordering of examples given in a source must all be documented.
The School defines cheating as availing oneself of the means to cheat and facilitating the capacity of another to cheat. Cheating includes, but is not limited to:
1. Taking notes or unauthorized aids (including wireless communication devices) into a test, examination, or quiz.
2. Copying from, or being influenced by, another’s work while doing homework or during an assessment of any type.
3. Use of help on homework, tests, or written work which is beyond the limits specified by the classroom teacher; this includes the use of artificial intelligence.
4. Giving unauthorized aid to another student, allowing another student to copy work, or allowing another student to present “borrowed” work as original. In cases where one student aids another in this fashion, both are subject to disciplinary action. Please remember that it is the responsibility of each member of this learning community to maintain and model the highest standards of personal and academic honor, honesty and integrity. Those with questions about academic honesty/integrity should consult with their teachers, Advisor, Form Dean, and/or the Dean of Academics.
LYING WITH RESPECT TO ACADEMIC MATTERS
Students must be entirely forthright in their discussions about academic matters. Any lying with respect to academic matters may subject them to disciplinary action. Examples of lying with respect to academic matters include, but are not limited to, the following: lying about the completion of academic work, lying to avoid satisfying an academic obligation, and lying about the electronic submission of assignments.
In addition to a possible appearance before the Honor Committee, students determined to have lied, plagiarized, or cheated will generally be awarded no credit for the work in question.