Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts | 501 S. Sapodilla Ave, WPB, FL 33401


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Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts | 501 S. Sapodilla Ave, WPB, FL 33401


Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts | 501 S. Sapodilla Ave, WPB, FL 33401


Pledging to “Project Integrity”

Photo by Jade Lenkersdorf
Band senior Philipp Popp signs his name to an “academic key to success,” pledging his commitment to the National Honor Society’s “Project Integrity” campaign. NHS hosted the event in the cafeteria on Friday, Feb. 19, as part of the week-long initiative dedicated to bringing awareness to academic dishonesty.

A few years ago, Dreyfoos had an “honor code” that some teachers would have students write on each test. The code said that the work was his or her own, that no cheating had occurred, and that the student has acknowledged the consequences of cheating. After the code was later removed, the constant reminder of cheating being a crime against education was no longer pervasive in the minds of students. So last year, the National Honor Society (NHS) started the “Project Integrity” campaign, a week dedicated to creating awareness of cheating. Project Integrity returned again from Feb. 16 to Feb. 19.

“One of the pillars of NHS is Integrity, so last year the officers thought it would be a great thing to promote via a week of school dedicated to the pursuit of improving integrity at Dreyfoos,” NHS president and band senior Ethan Weatherdon said. “Cheating has become commonplace in many classes, and we wanted to show and explain to students why they shouldn’t do it. It’s more than just ‘cheating is wrong.’ It can lead to so much more.”

To make the campaign more relevant to students, NHS took DJ Khaled’s popular phrase “key to success” and applied it to the campaign as, “The key to success is integrity.” Beginning on Tuesday Feb. 16, NHS put up key-shaped cutouts for each grade in the cafeteria for students to sign as a pledge of integrity. Sticking with the theme, they were tagged as, “The Keys to Academic Integrity.”

On Friday Feb. 19, Project Integrity had its second-annual white out, where NHS asked students to wear white in support of Project Integrity. NHS gave out Rice Krispy Treats or fruit snacks, as well as stickers, to students who signed the keys. Strings senior Mateo Dorado DJed the event during lunch. Local news stations stopped by to cover the event, as well.

“We want to promote to the students to keep integrity and not cheat in their classes. Our goal is to, since it was on the news, have other schools pick up on it and make it become a county-wide thing,” NHS social coordinator and dance senior Olivia Izenwasser said. “The NHS officers went around to freshmen classes last Thursday to speak to them about integrity and the Project Integrity campaign.”

Hundreds of students signed the keys. Piano junior Natalie Shteiman wrote her name on the pledge to take a stand against cheating.

“Chances are, you’re not going to cheat only once. It’s going to be a continuous thing,” Shteiman said. “If you cheat, you have no motivation to study. What I like about integrity week is that everyone comes together in mutual understanding.”

Piano junior Paul Richter signed the pledge for similar reasons to Shteiman, citing that it is “very easy to cheat.” When it comes to what should be done about cheating, Richter believes cameras in classrooms, as well as stronger teacher surveillance during tests could help.

“I think Project Integrity is something very [important] and keeps students studious, while teaching them to [maintain] integrity so they can have success in life,” Richter said.

The goal for NHS is to have Project Integrity become an annual event to continue to keep integrity and anti-cheating part of the Dreyfoos atmosphere.

“I really do think that Project Integrity will affect a lot of students,” Weatherdon said. “It opens up conversations that would have never existed.”

Project Integrity did not just impact students. The theme of the day turned into a brief discussion about integrity during foreign language teacher Sarah Smith’s second period Spanish 3 class.

“What is integrity all about?” Mrs. Smith asked her class. After a few answers about cheating and ethics and morals, Mrs. Smith said, “Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching, even when no one will ever know.”

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About the Contributor
Alex Gordon
Alex Gordon, Managing Editor
Communications junior Alex Gordon is a Cover Editor and second-year staffer on The Muse. Aside from journalism, Gordon is a member of the Dreyfoos Speech and Debate Team, where he is the president, and was ranked last year as one of the top sophomores in Florida. He is also the vice president of ThinkPINK, and is an attorney for the Palm Beach County Youth Court program. In his free time, he enjoys swimming, watching Netflix, and reading. In the future, Gordon aspires to have a career in law, politics, or sports management. He looks forward to advancing his journalistic abilities with The Muse for the next two years.
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