Oakton's Honor Code

I. Mission Statement

Oakton High School strives to be recognized as a school of honor.  Students, teachers, staff and parents uphold high moral values focused upon fostering a love of learning and pride in individual accomplishment.  Students are expected to show respect for morality, personal honor and the rights of others as is demanded of good citizens.


II. The Honor Code

Oakton High School students agree, individually and collectively, that they will not give or receive aid in examinations; that they will not give or receive unpermitted aid in class work, in the preparation of reports, or in any other work that is to be used by the instructor as the basis of grading.

The following are examples of Honor Code violations:

  • Copying from another’s examination paper or allowing another to copy from one’s own paper
  • Unpermitted collaboration
  • Plagiarism
  • Giving or receiving unpermitted aid on a take-home examination
  • Representing as one’s own work the work of another
  • Giving or receiving aid on an academic assignment under circumstances in which a reasonable person should have known that such aid was not permitted
  • Give or receive signals during a test
  • Unauthorized use of test keys


III. Intent and the Reasonable Person Standard

Students and faculty often ask whether a careless act can be considered a violation of the Honor Code. The answer is "yes," depending on context and other circumstances.

A violation of the Honor Code does occur when persons give or receive aid on an examination under circumstances in which a reasonable person should have known that such aid was not permitted by the Honor Code.  In most instances, if a student admits to or is proven to have engaged in giving or receiving unpermitted aid, this behavior should be presumed intentional.  However, even where a student is able to demonstrate that he or she did not willfully intend to violate the Honor Code, that student is still liable if a reasonable person in his or her situation should have been aware that such activities were wrong.


IV. Stakeholder’s Responsibilities

Students will:  

  • Support one another in the learning process, but not during individual assessments or on individually graded assignments.
  • Utilize a range of sources to broaden their knowledge and properly credit sources used.
  • Communicate honestly with faculty and staff.
  • Respect the intellectual property of others.
  • Understand and follow the Honor Code as well as individual teacher guidelines.
  • Be familiar with the consequences resulting from Honor Code infractions.


Parents will:

  • Support their child’s efforts to be an honest part of the OHS community.
  • Have knowledge of the Honor Code.
  • Have knowledge of consequences due to Honor Code infractions.
  • Provide a positive role model.
  • Support faculty and administration in enforcing the Honor Code.


Teachers will:

  • Foster a positive learning environment in which the contributions of each individual are respected.
  • Review and explain the Honor Code, Honor Code Guidelines, and the Honor Council process at the beginning of each semester.
  • Teach or review the correct use of documentation when assigning work.
  • Specify types of collaboration/study aids that are encouraged as well as those that are forbidden.
  • Structure test conditions to support the goal of creating an environment that inspires honest behavior
  • Model high standards for their students.


Counselors will:

  • Review and explain Honor Code, Honor Code Guidelines, and Honor Council process when appropriate.
  • Work together with students, teachers, administrators, and parents in supporting the Honor Code and the Honor Council.
  • Encourage course selection that will allow the student to work independently to their capability.


Administrators will:

  • Create an environment that nurtures honesty and honest work.
  • Make sure that all faculty, students, and parents have knowledge of the Oakton Honor Code and the Oakton Honor Council.
  • Provided Honor Code notices for every classroom.
  • Create a school-wide environment which encourages adherence to the Honor Code and supports the Oakton Honor Council.
  • Maintain records of violations.


V. Possible Consequences:

(From FCPS Grading and Reporting): Students who violate “the spirit or the letter of the law” as regards to cheating and plagiarizing must accept responsibility for their actions and the accompanying consequences. Consequences may include:

  • A conference including the parent or guardian, student, and administrator.
  • Retaking a test.
  • A lowering of the grade or receiving a zero for the assignment, consistent with the school’s honor code.
  • An alternative assignment or recompletion of the original assignment.