School's "Unwritten" Code of Conduct

taste the rainbow's picture

So the provintial ELA exam's topic this semester was "Codes". When I first saw it I nearly burst out laughing thinking "WTF!?" cuz' I can tell you write now that half the people in the room automatically snapped and said, "Da Vinci Code!"
But after I read some of the short stories and poems I realized that (atleast the way it protrayed the word 'codes'), that it can be refered to as something as simple to bar codes, dress codes, languages,. . . to something like the code of society.
I chose to write an essay on the "unwritten" code of conduct in schools. I wrote that the purpose of it was to educate and raise awareness in the student body on both the good, and the bad effects it can hold on one individual. I won't waist any more space on talking about, cuz' i posted it below. However this essay doesn't say everything I wanted it to say I had to keep it short (I only have one hour left to write a whole final copy, plus some of the rough draft I never finished :p) plus I wrote somethings just for the sake of giving it a little more variety.

Anywho, The purpose of this forum was not only to post my essay to get responces, but rather my question is, what is your opinion on the subject, and what are your own personal experiences on the matter? We are all attending/ have in the past, some kind of school, so I thought this would make for a medeoker(sp?) forum topic.
I'd say that out of this whole essay, the third paragraph best describes how I feel, and the ending of the concluding par. But nonetheless, all of it is part of what I think.


In our school there is a written code of conduct that is composed of multiple rules. Rules stating dress code regulations, no smoking/drugs/alcohol, hall conduct expectations, etc. This code of conduct is written to keep order and to protect our own safety. However, what about our school’s “unwritten” code of conduct? This code is filled with rules and expectations that shape and mold or morals and expectations of ourselves and those around us. This code includes what we wear, how to act, who we can love/hang out with, common courtesy, and the list goes on. How do these codes affect us positively/negatively, and what happens when one doesn’t meet and/or follow the status quo? There are many pros and cons to the unwritten code of conduct and it affects every individual student in a different way.
In our schools there are several positive effects of this unwritten code of conduct. We use this code as a guide line to help discover who we are, or along the lines of what we should be. Once a child begins school, his/her development of his/her character begins to change and grow rapidly. We learn vital communication skills that help us work together to achieve maximum results. Other life skills we learn are how to make friends, proper manners, what’s acceptable, and what’s not acceptable. Our schools unwritten code of conduct helps us grow and develop morals and knowledge that aids our transition into becoming a compatible member of society.
There are also several negative effects of our unwritten code of conduct. Due to the mass number of rules and expectations, stereotypes are created. As we grow older and more independent, for many, these rules, expectations and stereotypes can become restricting. Restricting to the point where it puts the growth of ones character on hold. These restrictions create fear and may lead to concealing one’s true self. This is truly bad as it leads to lying, which leads to distrust, which only furthers the stress of the individual. For example, refer to the article “Real Boys” by William Pollack. Imagine a boy who just lost in a fist fight (to another boy) over some girl. Instead of going to his friends for support, forces himself to suppress his emotions and hold off till he gets home to sulk in his own sorrow.
One of the most common fears among people world wide is the fear of rejection. Everyone wants to be accepted. Thus we (the students in this case) try to follow the unwritten code of conduct as best as we can. However, what about those who don’t meet and/or follow these rules and expectations? Unless they have a real tight knit group, the individual will get rejected. For example, once again refer to “Real Boys” by William Pollack. Suppose there was a boy who did not play any sports and was instead interested in the world of fashion and media. He may be made fun of by his friends and called a sissy. In the halls as he walks to class he may be pushed and bullied as kids yell out harmful names. As shocking as it sounds, this given situation is an example of a realistic scenario that has showed its cruel face in our schools.
Despite the number of positive vs. negative effects of our school’s unwritten code of conducts, we must come to a realization that this code is an absolutely necessary asset to every schools success. For a school is like a community. And we all know that in order to have a prosperous community we must all have somewhat of similar beliefs and values. If not, then there would be utter chaos and the community would no longer be able to function. However, what we must also learn is the fact that this “unwritten” code of conduct is simply a guide line. We must learn to be flexible about these rules and expectations we hold on others, and ourselves in order to achieve a functional community that does not restrict the given right to be true to one’s self.

"Real Boys" by the way was an artical given to us in the reading and responce section of the exam.

commander147's picture

Personally I dont agree with

Personally I dont agree with your conclusion at all. ("we all know that in order to have a prosperous community we must all have somewhat of similar beliefs and values. If not, then there would be utter chaos and the community would no longer be able to function") I believe that a community needs to be diverse, with unique points of view. This especially in schools where it is shaping the minds of kids. If there are no other points of view then how can wrongs ever be righted. I think when you have a school full of people who all believe similarly you lose out on something: culture. (living in america, and in a blue state no less, I think that that is a very very big part of growing up and going to school.)
I understand why you defend them, and to some point I even agree with you. However, I find the restrictive rules of "how to dress" and how to act problematic to the social development of children.
but thats just me...

Go to any quiet place and listen, and soon you will hear the voices of those who came before you. Long after we leave this place, our voices will echo in these halls.

taste the rainbow's picture

Ya, my bad. For the idea

Ya, my bad. For the idea that I was aiming for, beliefs and values were sort of the wrong words to use. But oh well, it's written and done with now lol.

When I was writing this, not all, but a large part of it was based off how I feel right now as a student, as an individual. I feel restricted to the point where I can't excel in certain areas (ie closeted) because I fear that once I show my true self, that I may be rejected by friends, family, and everyone else. Yet, without these common ways to be, I wouldn't be who I am today, and for the most part, I love who I am today!

The real Point that I really wanted to stress on was that this unwritten code of conduct is simply a list of the common ways to be. And that pretty much I hate the unwritten code of conduct cuz' I feel it restricts us to the point where we're afriad, or even ashamed to be who we really are. In which this case, it probably would have been smarter to write a persuasive essay bashing the code of conduct, cuz' I know my points supporting it are kind of weak, . . . meh oh well lol.

allison322's picture


yeah i dont agree with your conclusion either... so you're saying that in order for a school to be successful, students must be the same- which includes orientation.. i don't like that!

taste the rainbow's picture

If you read the last two

If you read the last two sentances of the conclusion it says otherwise. And If you read the last two supporting paragraphs and my previous comment you would understand that that's not what I was trying to say at all, infact if was the opposite :/ I know, my choice of words (ie similar 'beliefs' and 'values') was bad and may confuse. Just understand we had a limited time to write this and ya, it's full of unbalanced and poorly explained ideas. I just thought it would be interesting to get other peoples thoughts on the subject, of how these rules, expectations, and stereotypes effect them.

"What they don't know can't hurt them

but it sure as hell can hurt me"

dykehalo's picture

I liked it! I understood

I liked it! I understood what you were trying ot say or at least the way i interprted it Your choice of words may not of been the best as youve said several times. But it was still good.