Moral Code For School Children

Moral Code For School Children

Published 1925 in Collier’s, the National Weekly

It’s a bit hard to read, so here is the text:

If I Want To Be a Happy, Useful Citizen I Must Have:

Courage and Hope

I must be brave—This means I must be brave enough and strong enough to control what I think, and what I say and what I do, and I must always be hopeful because hope is power for improvement.


I must act wisely—In school, at home, playing, working, reading or talking, I must learn how to choose the good, and how to avoid the bad.

Industry and Good Habits

I must make my character strong—My character is what I am, if not in the eyes of others, then in the eyes of my own conscience. Good thoughts in my mind will keep out bad thoughts. When I am busy doing good I shall have no time to do evil. I can build my character by training myself in good habits.

Knowledge and Usefulness

I must make my mind strong—The better I know myself, my fellows and the world about me, the happier and more useful I shall be. I must always welcome useful knowledge in school, at home, everywhere.

Truth and Honesty

I must be truthful and honest—I must know what is true in order to do what is right. I must tell the truth without fear. I must be honest in all my dealings and in all my thoughts. Unless I am honest I cannot have self-respect.

Healthfulness and Cleanliness

I must make my body strong—My eyes, my teeth, my heart, my whole body must be healthful so that my mind can work properly. I must keep physically and morally clean.

Helpfulness and Unselfishness

I must use my strength to help others who need help—If I am strong I can help others, I can be kind, I can forgive those who hurt me and I can help and protect the weak, the suffering, the young and the old, and dumb animals.


I must love—I must love God, who created not only this earth but also all men of all races, nations and creeds, who are my brothers. I must love my parents, my home, my neighbors, my country and be loyal to all these.

Humility and Reverence

I must know that there are always more things to learn—What I may know is small compared to what can be known. I must respect all who have more wisdom than I, and have reverence for all that is good. And I must know how and whom to obey.

Faith and Responsibility

I must do all these things because I am accountable to God and humanity for how I live and how I can help my fellows, and for the extent to which my fellows may trust and depend on me.



5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lloyd's of Rochester
    May 07, 2012 @ 01:21:28

    This is the biggest, best and clearest copy I could find. If anyone knows of a better one let me know.


  2. ValerieKLazarus
    May 27, 2012 @ 19:56:31

    Wow, this is amazing. Nothing about the ten commandments, and nothing for atheists to get annoyed about until the paragraphs on Charity and Faith. Who knew we had to give up loving our parents, loyalty to our country and accountability to our fellow men (and women) just to make atheists happy. Does tolerance REALLY mean abandonment of morals?


    • Lloyd's of Rochester
      May 27, 2012 @ 22:37:24

      Sadly, it does seem that there is a small, unhappy, hateful group of highly vocal adult bullies who shout tolerance the loudest, but practice it the least. The sadder part is that those they attack roll over and let them get away with it rather than calling their bluff and standing up for what is right and True. Ultimately, we are all weakened by it and when the bullies come to the end of their lives they die in a froth of self-inflicted loneliness, bitterness, rage and disease of the body and soul, for “bitterness is as rottenness to the bones” and they have driven away those would could have given them love and joy, but they refused to see or accept it and, saddest of all, it is their choice.


  3. Donald
    Dec 30, 2013 @ 23:10:07

    I have an image of this poster from our museum in town, it was the Moral Code for youth” vs. school children, I have color .jpg image if you want


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