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Lesson in Ethics

South Lakes students participate in 15th annual Ethics Day.

About 380 seniors at South Lakes High School participated in Ethics Day 2005 on Tuesday, Nov. 22 at the Sheraton Hotel in Reston.

In partnership with the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, South Lakes conducted the 15th annual event for seniors to explore and discover their values and determine how their actions could affect ethical decision-making scenarios in the workplace and society.

Professional basketball player and South Lakes grad Grant Hill opened the program via taped presentation.

Local business and community leaders participated in the event as table leaders to interact with students, help facilitate interesting discussions and encourage conversations about the topic of ethics. More than 60 local volunteers helped out, said Lesley Green, the GRCC’s events and programs manager.

During the course of the day, students also learned that inaction could sometimes be as harmful as making a bad decision. They learned this through the example of David Cash.

Eight years ago, Cash’s best friend Jeremy Strohmeyer was convicted of kidnapping and killing a 7-year-old girl in a casino in Nevada. Cash was accused of having knowledge that girl might be in danger, but he did nothing to notify authorities. However, he was never accused of breaking any laws. Seniors at South Lakes discussed whether or not Cash was “obligated to step in and do something” if he knew or suspected anything. Overwhelmingly, students argued that Cash was wrong not to have acted.

South Lakes was the first school in the county to devote a day to considering ethical issues. Other sponsors for the event included Freddie Mac, Sallie Mae Fund, Reston Community Center, Sheraton Reston Hotel, Northwest Federal Credit Union.