One of the most respected tenets of the school is every student's pledge of academic and personal honesty. The Honor Code places in each student's hands the responsibility for honorable conduct as a way of life. A student who comes to Taft accepts this responsibility.
The Honor Code was developed by students. Taft students understand that the culture of the school is shaped by the students themselves, and they see it as a duty to uphold the central values.
In the Student Handbook, there is a clear articulation of the values we care most about. Every assessment—whether daily homework or final exam—ends with the student's written pledge: "I have neither
given nor received aid on this paper." The Honor Code anchors students' behavior. It is continually reinforced and highly valued by both students and faculty. It's a simple but important lesson: your word is your bond.
To read more about the school's honor code, check out the Student Handbook, or the article "A Matter of Honor" from the Taft Bulletin.
This we believe: that Personal Honor in word and deed, Personal Integrity in thought and action, Honesty in every facet of life, and Respect for other people and their rights are the essence of a Student of the Taft School.
The Honor System is based on these principles, the basic characteristics of a Taft Student:
- a student's word is his or her bond
- a student respects the integrity of personal property
- a student has respect for academic honesty
- a student's conduct is always that of a gentleman or lady.
Violations of the Honor System shall consist of:
- the theft of other persons' property;
- any attempt to give or receive assistance in any way or form in connection with scholastic work for credit; or
- lying in regard to academic matters.
- The phrase "I pledge my honor" written at the end of any scholastic work done for credit is an abbreviation of the statement "I pledge my honor that I have neither given nor received aid on this paper."
- On all department examinations, this statement must be written out in full. Any student not signing the pledge to his or her paper will be notified by the teacher correcting the paper, and then, if unable to sign the pledge, he or she shall be reported to the Honor Committee for investigation. A discussion of plagiarism is included on page 9 of the Student Handbook.
- There shall be an Honor Committee which shall investigate and deal with all cases involving the Honor System, as the System is defined in Article 1.
- This Committee shall have the power to summon any accused person or persons, to summon any other persons who might have information about the alleged offense, and to recommend penalties to the Headmaster.
- The Committee shall submit to the Headmaster a record of all cases considered in its sessions. The instruction of the succeeding Committee shall be the responsibility of the outgoing Committee.
The PREAMBLE and the CONSTITUTION shall be announced and explained to all new students at the beginning of each year.
The effectiveness of the Honor System lies in the cooperation of the student body. It is left up to the discretion of the individual as to whether or not he or she shall report an offender to the Honor Committee.
- The Committee, without altering in any way the provisions of the Constitution, may take whatever measures it deems necessary to perpetuate the Honor System.
- This Constitution, the Preamble, or any parts or articles may be amended or repealed by a three-quarter vote of the combined Senior and Upper Middle classes.
--Classes of '43, '61, and '82