We believe there are universal moral values, those associated with "should" or "ought", to which people in all successful civilizations subscribe. These values serve as the basis for ethical behavior across all societies and all major religions. In a public education setting, therefore, we believe it is appropriate to foster and promote such ethical values and principles. Though not inclusive of every commonly accepted moral value, the list below, endorsed by the Board of Education, has been developed to include values that are powerful and important-to-life.
Honesty Conducts human interactions in a fair and straightforward manner; tells the truth; does not cheat, steal, or intentionally mislead; behaves in a manner consistent with one's professed values and ideals (integrity)
Responsibility Accepts responsibility for the foreseeable consequences of one's actions, reactions, choices, and goals; demonstrates an active commitment to the welfare of others
Compassion Demonstrates sensitivity and a decent measure of caring and concern for fellow human beings; exhibits generosity and love
Perseverance Continues the pursuit of goals in the face of adversity; demonstrates a willingness to work (diligence)
Respectfulness Holds one's self, each other person, and the environment in high regard; acknowledges the inherent value in each human being and each living thing; honors the rights of others to be autonomous and to be treated with dignity (Not to be confused with an insistence that one is entitled to someone else's respect)
Cooperation Interacts with others in a mutually beneficial way; seeks thoughtful and peaceful ways of resolving conflict
Civic Duty Respects the principles of representative democracy; expresses informed views; participates in the democratic process; observes rules and laws; demonstrates a commitment to the public good
Courage Demonstrates a willingness to act positively on a moral value even in the face of potential personal loss; a willingness to take calculated risks to achieve a positive result (Not to be confused with aggressive physical or emotional behavior)
The real test of the effectiveness of any moral education effort will be its impact on the decisions students make. In the final analysis, we want our students to routinely make ethical choices -- choices distinguishing what should be done, from what can be done.
Adopted by the Board of Education October 1992
Irvine Unified School District • 5050 Barranca Parkway, Irvine CA 92604 • (949)936-5000