Why character counts

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By The Staff

My take on the Character Counts program is about developing a whole person. As an educator and adviser, it is my goal to empower people to develop character.

Character is not something that happens by accident, rather it is a continual development. We must live the life oc character, no matter whether it is popular or liked ... it is never too late to do the right thing. Character becomes more possible when it is by modeled by others, perhaps all of us.

The Character Counts Summer Camp that my students and I attended is the movement that began in 1992 at a conclave of educators, representatives from religious and secular youth serving organizations in Aspen, Colo. The “Aspen Declaration” is the result of the gathering. The document outlines six elements that are believed to lie at the core of all societies. Those elements are respect, caring, trustworthiness, fairness, responsibility and citizenship. These elements are known as the six pillars of character. It has been my experience that these elements are not something new, but values that have deteriorated to a great extent in the last five decades. What will it take to rekindle a moral dimension? Perhaps we should ask ourselves the following questions: Do I cooperate, get involved in community affairs? Do I stay informed, obey the rules and laws? Do I respect authority and protect the environment?

The challenge is this: For all of us to model the six pillars, and influence those around us.

At West Las Vegas High School, we currently have a positive behavior support system expected behavior matrix which is illustrated in our WLV High School Student Handbook. Our mantra is: WLV cares.

John Duran is a teacher at West Las Vegas High School.