Unethical academic behavior is a rising epidemic because students don’t really know the consequences of cheating or plagiarism and hardly get punished for them. This is why the Antonine International School (AIS) Bicharaf Day for grades six through eight was held to teach students more about academic integrity. A group of roughly 300 students were split into two groups and attended two activities that displayed situations where ethics was a central theme; one consisted of watching the movie The Emperor’s Club and the other was stations of games that the students competed in to collect letters that spelled out “Academic Integrity”.
The Emperor’s Club showed one aspect of the ethics spectrum: cheating and its consequences. The movie revolved around Sedgwick, a troublemaker, who becomes a scholar for a school contest called Mr. Julius Caesar. During the contest, Mr. Hundert, the moderator, discovers Sedgwick to be cheating but nothing is done to stop it even though he folds to his competitor. When a friendly rematch is planned 25 years later, similar situations arise, leaving Mr. Hundert to question his own ethics all those years ago. In a discussion after the movie, the students talked about the ethics shown in the movie and which actions were ethical and which were not. The students were quick to point out the moral dilemmas and gained a clearer understanding that cheating is never an option if you want to get somewhere in life.
The second half of the day incorporated sportsmanship and friendly competition through games including a relay, an obstacle course, table tennis, and a donut eating game. Students were divided into teams by color and then competed against one another. The object of the games was to put the students in situations where they had to use good judgment and to graciously accept the outcome, whether they had won or lost. Bicharaf Day was a rousing success and the message that the AIS Bicharaf club wanted to pass on was made tangible to its younger audience in a fun and engaging way.