Students at BYU are protesting their school's 'honor code' as sexist, homophobic and dangerous.

The youth are loved — and hated — for shaking things up.  

We put a unique twist on just about everything, from dating to employment. But one area in which we're rocking the boat the most lately is politics.  


As a generation, we are exceptionally vocal about things we don’t like. We live in active pursuit of fixing things older generations often tell us we can’t change.  

Many of us have been activists since birth. What's more, our spirit of change seems to be influencing the younger generations, like Generation Z who’ve been leading the wave of change on issues like gun reform.  

The rise in student and campus activism we’ve seen over the last decade makes that crystal clear.

Lately, even historically religious schools are seeing the impact.

Students at Brigham Young University — a school that is sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and known for its strict code of conduct- are protesting their Honor Code.

In case you’re not well-versed in BYU student code of conduct, Here’s the short of it. The honor code is based on religious doctrine and provides guidelines on what behaviors are permitted.

The following is an excerpt from the conduct section of the code:

“Students must abstain from the use of alcohol, tobacco, and illegal substances and from the intentional misuse or abuse of any substance. Sexual misconduct; obscene or indecent conduct or expressions; disorderly or disruptive conduct; participation in gambling activities; involvement with pornographic, erotic, indecent, or offensive material; and any other conduct or action inconsistent with the principles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Honor Code is not permitted.”

It also presents more controversial guidelines about “homosexual behavior” and a host of dress code guidelines.

But it's not just an expected code of conduct, it's a heavily enforced set of expectations that can delay students graduation or even result in expulsion for what would typically be seen as minor infractions.

Last Friday over 300 BYU students chanted "God forgives me, why can't you?" At the Honor Code office (HCO).

They also shared stories of the ways the honor code has negatively impacted their lives. Among these concerns were mentions of how the code negatively impacts LGBTQ and victims of sexual assault.

Hashtags like #honorcodestories, #mercynotfear, and #RestoreHonor are being used on Twitter and Instagram as places for those impacted by the code to share their experiences.

It’s worth noting that the protest to the Honor Code aren’t a rejection of Church of Latter-Day Saints culture as a whole.

Protesters and the users who submit stories to their Instagram page, Honor Code Stories are adamant that they are seeking change out of their love for the church.

The students at BYU join Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Notre Dame, and other schools all over the country in being the latest example of student activist. The reoccurring statement being that youth are willing to stand up for what's right.

Hope for a better future is a key component of all youth activism. Instead of giving up on a system that has unfairly benefited certain groups and overlooked others, they’ve decided to fight for better treatment for all.  

Sure, there are plenty of folks who are resistant to these change makers' demands, and will continue to be resistant. But based on the youth protests of the past, that's likely to stop these young students.

The Honor Code protest is the latest of many that illustrate that millennials and Generation Z are committed to changing the world for better. And nothing, not resistance or even tradition, will stand in our way.    

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On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

Watch the video to see how this experiment plays out.

Oprah's Social Experiment on Her Audience www.youtube.com

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Cadbury has removed the words from its Dairy Milk chocolate bars in the U.K. to draw attention to a serious issue, senior loneliness.

On September 4, Cadbury released the limited-edition candy bars in supermarkets and for every one sold, the candy giant will donate 30p (37 cents) to Age UK, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the elderly.

Cadbury was prompted to help the organization after it was revealed that 225,000 elderly people in the UK often go an entire week without speaking to another person.

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Well Being

Young people today are facing what seems to be greater exposure to complex issues like mental health, bullying, and youth violence. As a result, teachers are required to be well-versed in far more than school curriculum to ensure students are prepared to face the world inside and outside of the classroom. Acting as more than teachers, but also mentors, counselors, and cheerleaders, they must be equipped with practical and relevant resources to help their students navigate some of the more complicated social issues – though access to such tools isn't always guaranteed.

Take Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, for example, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years, and as a teacher for seven. Entering the profession, she didn't anticipate how much influence a student's home life could affect her classroom, including "students who lived in foster homes" and "lacked parental support."

Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

So what resources do teachers turn to in an increasingly fractured world? "Joining a professional learning network that supports and challenges thinking is one of the most impactful things that a teacher can do to support their own learning," Anglemyer says.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

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One of the major differences between women and men is that women are often judged based on their looks rather than their character or abilities.

"Men as well as women tend to establish the worth of individual women primarily by the way their body looks, research shows. We do not do this when we evaluate men," Naomi Ellemers Ph.D. wrote in Psychology Today.

Dr. Ellers believes that this tendency to judge a woman solely on her looks causes them to be seen as an object rather than a person.

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Culture