A slice of Shalheaven: Honest hands

Katie Feld, Staff Columnist

In the presence of cheating, can we still stand strong with pride?

Shalhevet is famous for its passionate school spirit. It is often expressed by foam fingers, red lipstick, and “Don’t you wish your high school was hot like mine” T’s. Just flip through any Shalhevet yearbook, there are always at least two pages dedicated to pictures of pep rallies, spirit days, and any other opportunity that presents itself to show our ruach, or school spirit.

At sporting events it’s safe to bet on an enthusiastic black-and-red mob screaming cheers to root on our athletes. “I think Shalhevet’s spirit is an integral part of our community,” said junior Max Lipner. “It’s what sets us apart from other schools.” Shalhevet’s school spirit, aside from being incomparable to any of her rivals’, is part of the glue that keeps us together.

I don’t want to be “that person” but someone’s gotta say it: For all of our bravado, our honor code hasn’t been so “honorable” lately.

I have a vivid memory of being a timid eighth grader visiting Town Hall  one day when the topic under discussion was the honor code. I remember being totally in awe that Shalhevet was the type of school that had such high values that the possibility of allowing teachers to walk out of the classroom during tests was even considered.

It’s challenging to make my point, because lately, cheating has become so engrained into our school’s culture that even suggesting it’s a problem may alienate me from others. But then again, I guess that’s exactly my point.

So my challenge to us all is to think about what values are worthy of our pride. We can chant and whoop all we want but are the basic moral standards even being met?

I am not trying to accuse anybody but it is time to acknowledge that it is unbecoming of our tradition to express such glowing pride while so blatantly disrespecting our honor code.

As we begin a new school year we have a golden opportunity to think about the hands we’re putting into our Firehawk foam fingers. Are they the hands of dishonesty or hands belonging to an honorable student body? In the new school year, let’s make our enthusiasm worthy of a truly honest and just community.