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Bracelets obligate students to academic honesty

June 11, 2005

Soft rubber bracelets seem to be a growing fashion trend in the United States today, and now Hood River Valley High School has its own bracelet: Integrity HRV.

The idea of promoting integrity came about after a recent bout of academic dishonesty. “There was an incident where there were several students who were cheating and who admitted to cheating,” said Jennifer Schlosser, National Honor Society adviser. “This was the day after NHS induction, and many of the kids involved had been there.”

National Honor Society, as the name states, encourages honor and honesty — as well as academia — among its members. So when these club members were caught cheating, it was decided that something needed to be done.

“We talked about the cheating at our next club meeting, and we all decided that we should try to do something about it,” said Katie Pritchett, NHS president. “I jokingly suggested that we get bracelets that were like Livestrong.”

But what started out as a playful suggestion caught on like wildfire, and the blue Integrity HRV bracelets arrived at the beginning of June.

Schlosser says that these bracelets are a way to help curb an ever-increasing cheating problem. “We surveyed 170 students, and found that about half of them admitted to some form of cheating,” she said. “The bracelets are there so students won’t feel pressured to cheat. It’s an outward sign that says, ‘Hey, I don’t do that.”

More than that, though, Schlosser hopes that this will help build a culture of integrity not only at HRVHS, but at other schools in the area. “The elementary schools and middle schools want bracelets, too,” she said, also noting that Columbia Gorge Community College had contacted her saying that they wanted to run a similar campaign.

“It would be cool for elementary schoolers to talk about integrity in the classroom,” Schlosser said. “And then they get to middle school and they’re talking about it, then in high school, and then in college. But this is more than just about school; we’re encouraging students to make good choices all the time.”

The bracelets sell for a dollar, but cost of production is much higher. “The bracelets cost $2.50 to make, so we lose $1.50 on each one,” Schlosser explained. The National Honor Society and the Associated Student Body sponsor the campaign right now, but any outside donations would be helpful and appreciated.

To order bracelets, ask questions or get information on how to donate to the campaign, e-mail Jennifer Schlosser at: jschlosser@hoodriver.k12.or.us.

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