Code of Conduct
We, at Bishop Dwenger, are working as a:
Community of students, faculty, and staff, with parents, Board of Education, and alumni in the shared project of human growth, with each member offering a personal contribution.
Community of educators, working to provide for the spiritual, intellectual, psychological, social, and physical needs of each student.
Community of Christian educators who desire to provide an authentic and genuine charity among our members in a setting in which each person can function responsibly.
Community within a society. The interaction of the Bishop Dwenger academic community encourages each student to develop the ability to participate in civic affairs and influence the larger world.
STEP UP---BE A LEADER!
Being a leader can seem like a daunting task. Some leaders are vocal, while others don’t have to say a thing, but rather lead by example. Every time a Bishop Dwenger student puts on the school uniform shirt, puts on that tie, or wears the letter jacket, they are seen and judged by others. Our students need to step up and be a role model….be a leader!
Bishop Dwenger will strive to develop positive self-esteem in all students through classes and programs which teach them to:
- Learn to accept themselves
- Develop winning skills
- Study/model confident and successful people
- List your own greatest talents
- Find mentors
- Use positive self-talk
- Serve others
Not only to build self-esteem, Bishop Dwenger will strive to develop student leaders through participation in organizations, clubs, community service, performing arts, student government, athletics, and the Leadership Development class. Positive leadership is essential to group success and to the attitudes and conduct of the student body. Student leaders develop the ability to positively influence others to work toward common goals. Students should study the lives of successful leaders and model the qualities they exhibit. Students can develop leadership skills by being placed in positions of authority or responsibility.
HONESTLY…. JUST BE HONEST
The development of integrity is the concern of every “Citizen of Two Worlds.” Living the Gospel values demands an honest and honorable approach in all matters at Bishop Dwenger High School, especially in our academic pursuits. Cheating erodes the character and plagiarism is a vice. One of the 10 Commandments states “Do Not Steal.” When we take the answer of a classmate, write word for word what someone else created, or have a cheat sheet tucked away within a glance, we are stealing. We are taking something that was not ours and making it ours. That is stealing and also being dishonest.
Plagiarism seems to be one way that teens can be dishonest. It is so easy these days with access to the internet right at your fingertips 24 hours a day; it makes access to information simple. Unfortunately, plagiarism has become more common and has been the cause of many referrals. One definition of plagiarism is “the wrongful appropriation of any expression, word, idea, thought, work, passage, or invention (literary, artistic, musical, mechanical, etc…) of another to claim as one’s own without giving proper credit to the original source.” Some examples of this would include copying (material) from another student, copying (without properly quoting) material from a text, paper, or magazine in writing an essay. Such cheating is not limited merely to these specific examples. (For complete policy see handbook.)
SEXUALITY AND MODESTY FOR THE YOUNG CATHOLIC
We all have it, we should use it responsibly, and we need to understand how our Faith plays into the whole thing. What is it we are talking about? …..our human sexuality. As Catholics, we are called to a higher standard that goes beyond what modern culture and society accept. So in today’s world, how can teens uphold the morals taught by the Catholic Church? It is not easy, but we are called to take the higher road and avoid the “near occasion of sin.”
According to the online Merriam-Webster Dictionary, sexuality is defined as “the sexual habits and desires of a person.” The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) define sexuality as, “a fundamental component of personality in and through which we, as male or female, experience our relatedness to self, others, the world and even God" (Human Sexuality, 9). The two definitions are similar, yet vastly different. Our human sexuality is a gift and with every gift there comes a certain degree of responsibility. We need to use this precious gift God has given us in a way that gives honor to Him and ourselves. Only the USCCB mentions God in their definition. It all can be traced back to the book of Genesis, where God created all human beings in His divine image, as male or female. In fact, God sent His only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, to come to earth body and soul to walk among us. Jesus is the Incarnate, fully human in the flesh. Just as Jesus was perfect, we should strive to be perfect. We are made in God’s image and we are called “to love” and “to be loved.” Our sexuality is at the heart of understanding and relating to others, in the hopes of finding true love.
In First Corinthians, Paul reminds us that true love is "patient and kind, not self-seeking." Laying down one's life for another is Jesus' benchmark for love at its fullest. Every married couple who takes that sacred vow must have a deep understanding of this love, yet what does this mean for a teenager who is probably years away from marriage, but is starting to look for deeper relationship? This is where a firm understanding of chastity must be understood. All Catholics, married, single, and religious, are called to live chaste lives. Chastity "truly consists in the long-term integration of one's thoughts, feelings and actions in a way that values, esteems and respects the dignity of oneself and others" (Human Sexuality, 19). As teens, chastity calls one to refrain from sexual intercourse until marriage. This special act of intimacy, that brings two people together in the closest way, is reserved for the sacrament of matrimony. If this seems like a nearly impossible task, think of Jesus Christ. All single people can find a model of excellence in Him. He was single, chaste and, at the same time, a person who knew the joys of intimacy as well as loneliness. Richard Sparks wrote it best in an article for Catholic Update when he wrote: “… abstinence should be seen as a positive choice. For too many people abstinence is viewed solely in terms of "going without." It can be seen, first of all, as a "yes" to the future, to one's own inner potential and to one's future spouse.” Through the power of prayer, self-discipline, and participating in the sacraments we can overcome temptations. These three special ways we are asked to live a chaste life in accordance to the Church’s teachings. Information taken from Richard Sparks’ article “Human Sexuality: Wonderful Gift and Awesome Responsibility” written for Catholic Update Magazine and from U.S. bishops' 1990 document, Human Sexuality: A Catholic Perspective for Education and Lifelong Learning.
CITIZENSHIP, SPORTSMANSHIP, AND THE BD FAMILY
It used to be common that parents and grandparents would warn their children to “uphold the family name.” This was their way of expressing to the younger generation that their actions are not merely a reflection of their own choices but also reflected on the others that share the same surname. Children would be taught that the family name was spotless when given to them and that the offspring hold a responsibility to the generations of family members that gifted the name to them without spoil.
At Bishop Dwenger we repeatedly declare that we are a family – “The Bishop Dwenger Family.” Therefore, each of us must realize that, as members of that family, we are given many privileges but also many responsibilities. Our actions represent not only ourselves and our relatives but any group to which we belong.
This is especially true when a student is privileged to earn a Dwenger athletic or academic jacket. With this comes a responsibility in wearing a “BD” letter. Behind those two hallowed letters are almost five decades of alumni, five decades of faculty and staff willing to forfeit monetary gain for a cause in which they believe, five decades of parents that have taken second jobs to pay the tuition for a Bishop Dwenger education and five decades of sacrificing donors.
In fact, this line of thought can be carried further in that we not only represent our families and school but, because we are a Catholic school, we represent the Catholic Church and all who belong to it. Because of the tenets of our Faith, we hold ourselves to a standard set, not by our society and government, but one set by our God. This standard is not easy to maintain and oftentimes we will fall. Those outside of our Bishop Dwenger Family or Catholic Faith who interpret our standards as prideful will enjoy witnessing us fall. Yet, when this happens, we need to regroup and continue to strive to reach the set standard.
On those occasions when we do not reach the standard or purposely choose to ignore the standard, we take with us all members of our school and church community. We pull all Bishop Dwenger shareholders to a lower level that we, as individuals, have chosen for ourselves.
We should cringe on those days when our brains don’t seem to be completely engaged and we cut someone off in traffic. If we have a Bishop Dwenger license plate or any other identifier, just imagine what the other driver may be saying about “that” school. The same occurs when we’re wearing Dwenger spiritwear and get a little too emotionally involved at an athletic event and lose sight of the purpose of healthy competition. What must the opponent think of a school that works under the teachings of Jesus Christ when one of its members acts irresponsibly?
The epitome of sportsmanship was exhibited during the 2010-2011 school year by the fans from Hammond Noll after a semi-state loss to the BD football team. Hammond Noll formed a tunnel for the
Dwenger team to go through and congratulated our players and coaches for the way they played. That same spirit was evident at the local restaurant by the Hammond Noll students. The students stopped eating, stood up and congratulated us on the way the team played and wished us luck at the state game.
Great sportsmanship, especially after a big loss is difficult. Often, time is spent penalizing bad behavior. We need to make sure we praise good behavior just as well.
It is difficult as a parent not to get too involved in your student’s performance on the field. We may not fully agree with the coach’s decisions but we need to let the coaches’ coach and trust their knowledge and talents. Many times these situations are best left in the hands of the student, allowing them to step up to the challenge and handle problems later in life.
We need to remember: Let the players play; let the referees referee; let the coaches’ coach. These three statements can be visually seen in many gymnasiums around the state. It is always a good reminder to all of us. It is usually followed by a statement asking the fans to show good sportsmanship by simply cheering for their own team.
A referee/official never reverses a call. No matter how bad the call, or how much the fans or coaches objected, the call usually stands. We need to encourage our athletes to take the decision-making out of the referee’s hands by scoring early, being aggressive through the entire competition and not allowing the call to affect the next play. The call was made, and we must move on. Officials are human and they will make mistakes. Remember: Let the referees referee.
Sportsmanship is taught at home and by coaches. Being a good sport is much harder to do when we lose, but it shows our character when we do. Please continue to teach and show our students what great sportsmanship is all about. Let the players play, referees referee, and coach’s coach. It is a great lesson for us and our children.
The responsibility of being a good-standing member of The Dwenger Family can seem overwhelming. As adults we need to model for our students what is acceptable behavior. Additionally, we need to continually give verbiage to this same concept. Researchers tell us that a great motivator for teens is accountability to the parents. When negative peer pressure comes in the form of unacceptable behavior, "Uphold the family name” should ring in the student’s head.
Whether on the field, off the court, or as a spectator, are we upholding the family name as members of the Bishop Dwenger community, as Catholics and as children of God? Are our lives exhibiting the fruits of the Spirit, especially kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control?
BULLYING: NOT HERE!
Bullying in any form IS NOT tolerated at Bishop Dwenger High School. According to Indiana law, bullying is “overt, repeated acts or gestures, including: verbal or written communications transmitted; physical acts committed; or any other behaviors committed by a student or group of students against another student with the intent to harass, ridicule, humiliate, intimidate, or harm the other student.” It can be targeting one victim over and over or it can be targeting a series of victims. Bullying is done to someone who is less powerful. Power can be either physical, as in bigger and stronger, or power can be social, such as being perceived to have higher social standing or to be more popular. Bullying behavior takes many forms. It can be physical, such as fighting, shoving, or other violent behaviors. It can be verbal such as name calling, insults, and threats. It can be psychological such as spreading rumors or shunning the target/victim. It can be nonverbal such as using gestures or social exclusion body language such as turning away, not responding, acting as if the target is invisible, etc…
Bullying is violent behavior that has lasting effects on the victims. Bullying behavior interferes with school; it is against school rules and goes against criminal and civil laws. Bullying does not toughen a child nor does it prepare students for the real world. Being bullied causes academic problems, social isolation, and mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts. Being bullied at school causes young people to dislike and even fear going to school. A victim of bullying is often forced to “go it alone” as his/her friends desert them or join in the bullying because they are afraid of being targeted themselves. Bullying is not a joke! Bullies will claim it was “just for fun,” but the victims do not see it as funny.
The motivation of the bully is all about power. Bullies lack empathy for others; and believe their victims deserve it. Because of this imbalance in power, a victim of bullying may not be able to stop the bullying on their own. Ignoring the bullying denies the seriousness and seems rather passive. Fighting back usually provokes the bully to escalate the violence. Bystanders can make a difference by being willing to take a stand by following these simple steps:
- Calmly and firmly, tell the bully to stop.
- Report the bully to an adult.
Doing nothing or laughing only empowers the bully. Targets of bullying can take a stand. Be confident. Stay calm. Get away from the situation as soon as possible. Adults need to be ready to intervene and stop bullying behavior whenever they see it or it is reported to them. All students and staff should know and follow these four rules:
- We will not bully others.
- We will help students who are bullied.
- We will include students who are left out.
- If we know somebody is being bullied, we will tell an adult at school and an adult at home.
In an effort to stop all types of bullying at Bishop Dwenger, all staff members will take a strong stance and disciplinary referrals will be issued for bullying.
Cyberbullying is bullying done using electronic means. It includes rumors, slander, and threats of violence that are posted on social networks, sent in text messages, through instant messaging, emails, and comments on blogs. Such comments, whether posted inside or outside of school that result in the disruption to normal school operations and detrimentally impacts a fellow student, faculty, or staff member, the school and/or the school’s reputation, will be subject to disciplinary action by the school administration. Cyberbullying is especially harmful because of the speed with which it spreads and the illusion of anonymity. Once posted on the internet, the harmful humiliating comment or picture can be instantly viewed by anyone who has access to that internet site; and they can also download it or copy and forward it to others. Additionally due to the illusion of anonymity, the messages that are posted are often more harmful than what the bully would ever say to someone’s face. Therefore the impact on the one being bullied is often devastating. (For complete policy on bullying, consult handbook.)
TECHNOLOGY: OPENING A WORLD OF POSSIBILITIES
Bishop Dwenger High School will strive to identify and teach appropriate uses of technology in regard to:
- Cell phone use, text, and voice mail messages
- Internet websites
- Social media, instant messaging, and email
- Software programs
- Care of school hardware
- Copyrighted material
- School Honesty Policy and Plagiarism
The Bishop Dwenger Student Handbook lists specific guidelines for technology use found in the handbook.
THE TEEN BRAIN IS VULNERABLE
Despite the fact that their outward appearance is becoming more adult-like, internally, the teenage brain is still developing. Research confirms that the brain continues to develop into the mid-20’s. The last region of the brain to mature is the pre-frontal cortex, the home of analytical thought. This is the area of the brain that sets priorities, weighs consequences, makes decisions and suppresses impulses. It provides kids with the ability to plan, execute plans, solve complex problems, and integrate feelings. In fact, this part of the brain has been dubbed "the area of sober second thought." With this limited maturity, our young people need a strong support system.
For kids to have more energy and achieve their best, they need to keep their developing brains healthy.
Use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs during the teen years can have a negative impact on brain development that will last into adulthood. The brain regions mentioned above are undergoing pronounced transformation during the teen years and are very sensitive to alcohol and other drugs.
ALCOHOL AND DRUG DISCIPLINE POLICY
Any student found under the influence, possessing, using, or dispensing an alcoholic beverage (this includes products commonly known as near beer and non-alcoholic beer), drugs (for the purposes of this policy, drugs include controlled substances and unauthorized prescription drugs) or inhalants on school grounds or at a school activity, function or event (this includes all off campus activities) or traveling to and from school or a school activity or event will be suspended immediately until a hearing by the Disciplinary Review Board is held to resolve the case. Following the hearing, a student may be excluded from school for the balance of the semester or school year. In addition, the local police agency may be notified when students are suspected of possessing, using or dispensing drugs and/or drug paraphernalia.
In all drug and alcohol cases, the student’s parents will be notified and students will be asked to remain on school property or at a school event either on or off campus until the parents or other responsible adult arrives. The Bishop Dwenger High School Disciplinary Review Board will be the governing body in all drug and alcohol cases. Students found possessing, using, or dispensing drugs have been expelled from Bishop Dwenger High School for a period ranging from one semester to the rest of their high school career.
As in the past, any student self-disclosing that he or she has an alcohol or drug problem will be helped without penalty. Obviously, this must take place outside of any incident in which the student has been accused of being in violation of this policy, we will be happy to help and support that student.
Bishop Dwenger reserves the right to utilize law enforcement dogs in an effort to detect drugs brought into the school and kept in lockers or automobiles. This will be done randomly throughout the school year as deemed appropriate and/or necessary by the administration.