The Six Pillars of Character

Jacqueline Payan, Reporter

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Recently during morning announcements, the six pillars of character have been presented to motivate students to have a good day practicing good values. The six pillars of character are trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship.

In many ways it makes sense for the administration to want to encourage these qualities among students since it is important for students to get along and respect each other. But practicing these values isn’t that easy. Besides trying to make students shake off old habits and use different ideas, the way the values are presented should first be improved.

These six characteristics come from the website, which include other acronyms and color schemes to help kids remember good values and apply them in their life. It doesn’t hurt to try to carry out those good values, but simply speaking about them isn’t going to be enough.

The six traits are usually directed to a younger crowd starting in pre-school. So the traits should be just as applicable to a life of a high schooler. The scenarios presented on the announcements seem unrelatable to most teens and simply not good, like the one about telling someone their green jacket was ugly so you wouldn’t be fake. But telling a white lie can show caring.

Also, talking about the pillars in a monotone voice will not catch enough of our attention. I think if staff really wants to encourage these values, they would do something more captivating during lunch or nutrition rather than making up stories at the moment of announcements. Besides, many of us are too busy chatting away and eating during the time of the announcements since we now have breakfast in class.

Since we are encouraged to use the six values as students, I think it should also apply to the staff. Teachers should be encouraged to always use these six pillars too.

Staff members walk around and yank hats from students’ heads or skateboards from their hands. I even heard one staff member boast across the hall about how many hats they have taken. Things like this make students lose respect.

In order for students to cooperate, I believe it is important for staff to return the cooperation instead of simply adding on more demanding rules for students. Of course rules are always needed but if somehow we all cooperated with each other, instead of just expecting only the students to cooperate, we’d all get along better. Not perfectly but definitely better.

The six pillars of character seem like a good idea but it should be announced in an assembly not during breakfast. If they are applied to everyone at school, teens and adults, that would be fair and encouraging.

The way they are presented should also be relatable to people our age with realistic scenes like dealing with crowded halls or phones in class. By improving the way the six pillars of character are presented to teens, we might apply these values in and out of school.