At a recent upper school assembly girls signed the McGehee Honor Code, the oldest in the city, adopted in 1921 along with its essential partner self-government. McGehee girls from Pre-K to senior year know they are expected to be the best friend, the best student and the best person they can be. On Tuesday, every upper school student signed a pledge to uphold the Honor Code. Several of our Upper School students wrote articulately of what the honor code means to them.
McGehee is built upon the Honor Code. It is our foundation. Most of us don't think about the importance and value of the Honor Code because it’s part of our everyday lives. It lives and breathes around us. When we take a test without folders, that is the honor code. When we go to the bathroom without a hall pass, that it is the honor code. When we have unsupervised study, that is the honor code. It’s something we don’t realize because it’s with us every single day. It allows us to be our own person with our own conscience. It lifts the burden up off our shoulders. It allows you everyday to follow your own path without being directed constantly. It give you opportunities, lessons, and lastly you become somebody you are proud of. As the writer Albert Camus observed, “Integrity has no need of rules. There is but one moral code."
Here at McGehee we don’t have a lot of rules telling us what we can and can’t do. Our Honor Code simply reminds us to follow our conscience and do what we know is right. By pledging to uphold this code ourselves, and trusting those around us to do so too, we each take part in making McGehee a place that feels more just, more fair, and ultimately more free.” Ella Charbonnet ‘21
The Honor code is what creates the McGehee community. [It] teaches us not only the way we should behave in school, but also the way we should live our lives. We as McGehee girls will live our entire lives knowing that there is more of a reason to not cheat than simply out of fear of punishment. The honor code creates the community that assures we can trust all and work to succeed through our own efforts, and gain knowledge as we go on through our lives- not just cheating to pass the test.” Elizabeth Drennan ‘21