Thursday, November 1, 2012

Why is a Code of Conduct Important? Harmony Revises Code of Conduct

Every school year, millions of student athletes across the country sign a code of conduct. This is done with the hope and expectation that chemical health violations and other behaviors of concern will be brought into check. However, for the most part student codes of conduct are poorly written which can lead to nullification either in the courts or simply through parental dissent. Not only is a poorly written code a concern but a well written code can have just as many problems if the people charged with enforcing the code do not apply the rules and regulations fairly and without prejudice. Data collected by the American Athletic Institute substantiated previous claims that athlete alcohol use actually surpasses general student population use between tenth and eleventh grade. Much of the problem was attributed to ineffective codes of conduct.

The Harmony community school district is currently in the process of reviewing and revising their extra-curricular code of conduct. A team of school staff, coaches, board members, parents, students and SAFE Coalition representatives have been meeting over the past three months. They have reviewed policies from other schools across the state including neighboring schools, Van Buren and Central Lee. After reviewing other policies the group determined the pieces they felt were a good fit for the Harmony district and developed a draft of the policy. This draft is being reviewed before sending it to the school board for review and approval. The committee felt the current policy was antiquated and did not cover all of the conduct concerns that schools are seeing today.

Harmony students have been a big part of this process and have provided valuable insight into what they feel is important to have in their school policy. They want students in their school to be held to a high standard, which will in-turn improve the sportsmanship, team moral and overall school spirit. Once this policy has been finalized information on the revisions will be provided to each parent and student of the district. There will also be additional information available in the local newspapers and on the school website.

If you are interested in more information on the process of the committee you may contact Heather Lightfoot at the Harmony High School 319-592-3192 or the Van Buren County SAFE Coalition office at 319-293-6412 or

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