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What could be so important that all teachers and students at Eastern Christian High School suspend their plans for an hour to learn about it? If it involved gingerbread people, trust and the image of God, would you be curious? The teachers at Eastern Christian High School believe that there is a lesson that is that important, and we stopped everything to learn more.  

Imagine that you are a student and participated in the following activities:  

Can you remember a time when someone betrayed your trust? What would you like to say to that person? Spend a few minutes writing about that experience.

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Talk to your classmates: What are the common threads in broken trust?

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What are the characteristics of a trustworthy person? As a group, use the sketch (fondly known as the gingerbread person) to represent them visually.

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Discuss the following with your class. What does it mean to have a trustworthy teacher?  

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Review the Academic Integrity Policy, and discuss what it means to be a trustworthy student.    

Take a few minutes to answer the following:  

  1.  You were assigned to write a paper on Thomas Jefferson. You wrote an “A” paper on Thomas Jefferson last year. You turn in the paper you wrote last year.
  1.   You really like the Prezi presentation your friend did. Using his/her presentation you replace the information to make it meet the requirements of your assignment. You present the altered Prezi presentation in class.
  1.  You did not have time to complete your vocabulary assignment. You feel pretty confident you know the words and can do well on a quiz. You quickly copy down the answers your friend wrote so you can turn something in.
  1.  You are having an essay test tomorrow. You form a study group with some friends to review notes and discuss possible questions the teacher may ask.
  1.  Your friend was not able to complete an assignment. You share a copy of the document you are going to turn in so he/she can read it and revise it. Your friend then turns in his/ her revised copy.

Short answer: “Do you believe you have violated a person’s trust if you give him/her the impression you have finished a task when you have not?”

Why this is that important:  

As the Academic Integrity Policy states:

As Christians we are called to reflect integrity in all aspects of our lives. Eastern Christian honors this calling by outlining clear standards and concrete expectations for modeling ethical character in the classroom. Supporting the core values of the institution, we strive for excellence, develop responsibility, and seek Truth. Through these pillars, Eastern Christian students must conduct themselves accordingly, demonstrating integrity through honest academic work.  Honesty is defined as upholding and speaking truth. Integrity is fulfilling the core values with or without the presence of others.  Ethical character is foundational to the education of our young people.  Seeking after our Savior’s example, Eastern Christian deeply values and upholds integrity in all aspects of our professional academic environment, culture, and community.

Academic dishonesty—including plagiarism, cheating or copying the work of another, using technology for illicit purposes, or any unauthorized communication between students for the purpose of gaining advantage during an examination—is strictly prohibited. Despite temptations and/or pressures to receive good grades, students are expected to focus upon mastery of the material to the best of their personal abilities. Violations of academic integrity will not be tolerated and will be handled firmly and consistently.

In a world in which information is available in the touch of a finger, or the swipe of a screen, opportunities to compromise integrity abound. Our desire is for students to know what integrity means, in academics and beyond. We also want them to have the sure knowledge that we should look a little bit like the quickly created gingerbread silhouettes, and increasingly like the trustworthy God who created us in his image!