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Understanding the Importance of the Honor Code

Josh B. '25 reflected on the meaning of honesty at the Middle School Honor Code Assembly.


The McDonogh community is based on honesty, responsibility, kindness, and above all, respect—values that comprise the Middle School Honor Code and create an atmosphere of trust among students, faculty, and staff. At an assembly at the beginning of each school year, middle schoolers are reminded of the code which guides them to become people of integrity and character.

Head of Middle School Kristy Lundstrom began the annual Honor Code assembly on Tuesday, September 15, by speaking about the value of honesty, one of the main points on McDonogh’s Character Compass. She asked the students, who were present virtually, to consider honesty, its meaning in the past, present, and future, and what it means to them personally. Her opening comments were followed by a rendition of “Try Everything” sung by seventh graders Emma R., Niara S., and Abigal W.

Next, Middle School teacher Jon Aaron ‘76 shared the history of honor at McDonogh touching on the symbolism of the school seal and noting the ways the School honors people. After Aaron’s remarks, eighth grader Josh B. spoke with confidence and poise about the importance of honesty. He reflected on the writings of James E. Faust, who said, “Honesty is more than not lying.”

Josh explained, “This one word has more than a singular definition.” He noted that telling the truth can affect how people talk about you, the bond they form with you, and your reputation with others. He described his own approach to honesty with his teachers and friends and challenged his peers to be honest.

The assembly concluded with a review of the Honor Code by Middle School Band Director Elizabeth Irvine. She said, “The Honor Code states: I will not lie, cheat, or steal. I will respect the rights and well-being of myself and others.” Using examples from her own life, she went on to explain that choices have consequences and the importance of listening to “that quiet voice inside you.” She encouraged the students to think about the type of person they want to be and use that to guide their actions to be the very best version of themselves.