A girl's word is her bond: The SMS honor code
Posted September 7, 2012
When you think of Saint Mary’s many things come to mind - our long-standing commitment to preparing girls for successful futures, our place in the history of Raleigh, our Episcopal values and tradition. Perhaps you think of the friendly rivalry between Sigma and Mu, the white dresses with blue sashes, Chapel, the dropping of the ceremonial handkerchief at the close of the school year. Or perhaps you are reminded of one of Saint Mary’s most valued traditions: the Honor Code.
According to the handbook, “under the honor code, a girl’s word is her bond, and each girl is rigidly bound to honesty in every aspect of her life.” This sense of trust in community provides a unique learning experience; one which students carry with them long after they leave our gates. Since the mid-1900’s, Saint Mary’s has set aside a week each year for students to learn about the school’s honor code. Known as Honor Week, this practice allows the community to recognize, consider and discuss the honor culture and its powerful effects on our lives.
This year’s Honor Week begins on Monday, September 10. All of our meeting times during this week have been planned by the student-led Judicial Board. During Monday’s assembly, students will introduce honor week and educate the community on the various aspects of the honor code. The morning meeting times on Wednesday and Thursday will give advisory groups the opportunity to talk through different scenarios and how the honor code comes into play. Our chapel services will provide reflection as to what it means to be part of a community bound by the honor code. We will end the week with each person signing the Honor pledge in our Friday Chapel. This signed pledge will be proudly displayed in Dean Holland’s office through the year, serving as a visible reminder of the importance this community places on honor.