Honor Code

The code, the infractions, consequences of infractions

Statement of Purpose

The South County Honor Code is based on and reflects the fundamental beliefs that:

  • Every student has the right to learn in an academic environment free from any form of scholastic dishonesty;
  • Honesty and integrity of all members of the school community are crucial in sustaining academic excellence.  

The functions of the South County Honor Code are to:

  • Communicate the meeting and importance of scholastic honesty to all members of the school community
  • Explain and support the highest standards of conduct in academic and co-curricular affairs; and 
  • Educate, identify, and sanction those who do not follow these standards.  

The Honor Council is the faculty panel charged with supporting the Honor Code should a student appeal the decision made by the South County High School administration. 



Fairfax County Public Schools Student Rights & Responsibilities states that honorable school citizens take credit only for work that is their own.  Deliberately copying or using the work of others is considered cheating, plagiarism, or forgery under the discipline violation of scholastic dishonesty.  Students are also prohibited from sharing work or discussing assessments with others.  

The following list defines and provides examples of Honor Code infractions.  All attempts will be considered infractions.  

Prohibited Use of Technology

Students may not access unauthorized electronic devices during assessment situations.  If an unauthorized device is seen or heard at any time (including breaks) it may be confiscated and considered an Honor Code infraction.  This policy applied to, but is not limited to: phones, tablets, smart watches, airpods, calculators, portable internet devices, use of artificial intelligence (AI), and cameras. 


Cheating is the giving or receiving unauthorized assistance or unfair advantage on any form of academic work.  Such acts include, but are not limited to:

  • Copying any assignment in whole or in part;
  • Allowing the copying of any assignment in whole or in part;
  • Unauthorized collaboration with others on independent assignments;
  • Talking or the use of signs or gestures during an assessment;
  • Unauthorized use of electronic devices during assessments;
  • Passing or discussing test or quiz information during a class period or from one class to members of another class;
  • Unauthorized use of student aids, notes, books, technology, or other information; and
  • Deception; sabotaging the projects or experiments of students


Plagiarism is the copying of the language, structure, programming, computer code, ideas, and/or thoughts of another person and passing it off as one’s original work. Such acts include,but are not limited to:

  • Submitting as one’s own work an essay or project (in whole or in part) authored by another person or assistive technology
  • Failing to use proper documentation (works cited, bibliography, parenthetical citations, footnotes, endnotes, etc)

Misrepresentation / Lying

Misrepresentation is any verbal or written untruth.  Such acts include, but are not limited to:

  • Fraudulent or unauthorized addition, deletion, or manipulation of information on academic work;
  • Forging signatures or tampering with official records; and
  • Lying or failing to give complete information to school officials.  


Stealing is the unauthorized taking of another individual’s materials. Such acts include, but are not limited to:

  • Stealing copies of tests, quizzes, answer keys, or other teacher materials; and
  • Stealing another student’s schoolwork, notes, handouts, electronic storage devices, or other academic materials. 

Teachers are obligated to:

  • Learn and understand the SCHS Honor Code policy.

  • Present, uphold and enforce consistently the SCHS Honor Code.

  • Teach or review the correct use of sources when assigning work.

  • Teach students summarization of material and the distinction between summarizing and copying straight from the text.

  • Display the Honor Code in the classroom and use the pledge on assessments.

  • Specify the types of collaboration that are discouraged and those that are encouraged.

  • Structure conditions during testing to limit the possibility of cheating. Closely monitor students in a testing environment and use cover sheets and additional supervision when appropriate.

  • Ensure that each student understands the use of permissible study aids in coursework.

  • Discuss the alleged honor code violation with the student before proceeding with consequences or a discipline referral.

  • Report any violation of the Honor Code to the parent/guardian and forward a discipline referral to the subschool principal.

Administrators are obligated to:

  • Learn and understand the SCHS Honor Code policy.

  • Present and uphold the SCHS Honor Code consistently with each child.

  • Teach the Honor Code to all students within the first week of school.

  • Provide students, parents, and faculty/staff a written copy of the SCHS Honor Code.

  • Prepare and provide Honor Code materials for classroom use.

  • Display the Honor Code in hallways, conference rooms, and other common areas.

  • Meet with students who violate the Honor Code.

  • Maintain a written record of Honor Code violations in student discipline folders.

  • Develop a plan of action for those who violate the code in an attempt to limit any further infraction by the student.


Honor Code Infractions – Warning and Referrals

Staff members who suspect a student of committing an honor code infraction will privately discuss the matter with the student, contact their parents/guardians, and give a warning or submit a discipline referral as appropriate.  

First Honor Code Violation Consequences:

  • Teacher will notify the student’s parents/guardians and include the student’s administrator in the communication and submit a discipline referral for scholastic dishonesty. 
  • The violation will be recorded in the student’s discipline record.  
  • Student will receive a 50% and be allowed to re-do the assignment with a maximum score of 80% of earned points. 
  • Student may be recommended for suspension from class/SGA office, editorship, or other academic positions for 90 calendar days from the date of violation processing.  
  • First offense violations may affect a student’s eligibility for future acceptance into honor societies, class/SGA office, editorship, and/or other academic leadership positions.  

Second and Subsequent Referral Consequences:

In addition to all first offense consequences consequences, 

  • Student receives a 50% with no opportunity to retake. 
  • Students and parents/guardians will attend a conference with the principal or a principal’s designee. 
  • Student will be recommended for expulsion from any honor societies of which s/he is a member.  
  • Student will be recommended for dismissal from class/SGA office, editorship, and/or other academic leadership positions.  
  • Student will be ineligible for all honor societies, editorships, academic leadership positions, and class/SGA offices for the remainder of his/her academic career at South County.  
  • Subsequent offenses could result in escaping disciplinary action.  


With five school days of speaking with the administrator, the student will choose from one of two options:

  1. I maintain I have not violated the Honor Code, and I request an appeal through the Honor Council.  
  2. I acknowledge I have violated the Honor Code, and I accept the consequences for my actions.  

The student may attach a written statement to a warning or referral document.  The Honor Council will hear the student’s case, when applicable, and then render a written decision.  Questions concerning an infraction or Honor Code decision should be directed to the student’s administrator.  The student’s alpha administrator will forward the appeal to the SCHS administrator who is in an opposite sub school.  

Honor code infractions are cumulative; they do not reset at the beginning of each school year.  Information regarding honor code infractions will be released to honor society sponsors upon request.