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Code of Ethics

Debate and Speech

The Maine Forensic Association believes that successful competition is dependent upon the students acting as ethical and responsible citizens. In order to underscore and clarify the value of these attributes, the following Maine Forensic Association’s Code of Ethics has been adopted. The expectations of this code apply to every speaker, spectator, volunteer, judge and coach and extend to all forensic activities including the time a speaker is not in a round and any other situation in which the student’s behavior directly affects the school discipline or the safety and welfare of others.

In addition Maine Forensic Association has adopted a Code of Online Tournament Conduct accessible by clicking here.

Code of Ethics

Respectful Conduct: People are able, valuable, and responsible and should be treated accordingly. Mutual respect among students and adults in the learning environment is the standard.

Honest Conduct: Seek to speak the truth, respectfully. Education should be a cooperative, collaborative activity where process is as important as product.

An ethical person is defined by the MFA as:

Respectful of others and self.

Honest in all academic endeavors and interpersonal relationships.

Compassionate and tolerant in dealing with the limitations and suffering of others.

Responsible for personal actions as an individual and a member of the community.

Fair and equitable in their treatment toward others.

Courageous in the face of ethical challenges.

Respect: I will treat myself and others with respect at all times.

Offenses include but are not restricted to:

  • Use of profane language or gestures directed at other participants that are offensive and/or intimidating.
  • Unwanted physical contact.
  • Direct or indirect bullying behavior.
  • Damaging or defacing either school property or personal property of others.
  • Threatening or demeaning others by words or actions.

Honesty: I will not lie, cheat or steal and will discourage others from doing so.

Offenses include but are not restricted to:

  • Theft of intellectual materials or plagiarism.
  • Theft or unauthorized use of others’ property.
  • Unauthorized operation of computer (or similar device), password or account of another user.
  • Unauthorized searching on the computer (or similar device).

Compassion: I will treat others with kindness, understanding, and tolerance.

Offenses include but are not restricted to:

  • Dialogue directed at another participant, or actions that communicate intolerance of differences in the beliefs, opinions or appearance of others.
  • Dialogue directed at another participant, or actions that communicate intolerance of differences in abilities of others.

Fairness: I will treat others as I would like to be treated.

Offenses include but are not restricted to:

  • Inequitable treatment of others.

Responsibility: I will accept the responsibility for my actions.

Offenses include but are not restricted to:

  • Violation of MFA or school rules.
  • Withholding information that could harm individuals, the MFA or school property.
  • Inappropriate dress or behavior that interferes with competition.
  • Violation of the law (local, state and federal laws/statutes).

Courage: I will strive for the courage to live by this code of ethics everyday.