The Heart of Texas Regional History Fair (HOTRHF) has adopted the following ethical guidelines that each student, parent, teacher, judge and board member is required to adhere to under the rules of National History Day.
Conflict of Interest
- Every effort will be made for judges to be placed with groups of entries with which they are not affiliated. However, if such a relationship does exist, we will ask the judges to notify us of the conflict and we will work to resolve it by replacing or rearranging judges as possible.
- Judges are to limit contact with teachers, parents, and students to those needed to complete the judging processes while they are wearing a judge's badge. Without the badge, contact can be made before and after they assume the role of judge, but should be limited to non-judging topics.
- Board or committee members should excuse themselves if they have a direct personal financial interest with the organization; or if not self-initiated, should be removed by the Executive Officers of the Board.
Guides for Competitors, Parents and Teachers
- Respect the rights and privacy of all participants.
- Competitors may not possess weapons or use alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, or other drugs except those prescribed by a doctor.
- Unruly behavior will not be tolerated.
- All participants must show respect to the facilities and personnel of the host institution.
- No participants may physically harm, threaten to harm, or harass any person(s), including providing and/or engaging in physical fights or malicious pranks.
- Participants are responsible for complying with the requests of all Heart of Texas Regional History Fair, Baylor University, and security personnel.
- Assistance from other participants is limited to that covered in the National History Day (NHD) contest rulebook. Sharing tools, equipment and materials to make last minute repairs, etc. is permissible. Critiquing and peer review are always encouraged as a means of personal growth when desired.
STUDENTS WHO VIOLATE THESE RULES WILL BE SUBJECT TO THE CONSEQUENCES OF THEIR ACTIONS, UP TO AND INCLUDING RESTITUTION FOR PROPERTY DAMAGE AND DISQUALIFICATION FROM THE HOTRHF CONTEST. SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS AND PARENTS WILL BE NOTIFIED OF ANY MISCONDUCT OR RULES VIOLATIONS.
Students must acknowledge in their annotated bibliography all sources used in their entry. Definition of plagiarism: using the work or ideas of others in ways that give the impression that these are your own (e.g. copying information word-for-word without using quotations and footnotes, paraphrasing an author's ideas, or using visuals or music without giving proper credit). Failure to credit sources is plagiarism and will result in disqualification.
- The local, regional, state and national coordinators are the dispute resolution authorities under the NHD guidelines. The issue should be brought to the attention of the coordinator at the level at which the issue occurred and if necessary forwarded to the next level higher as needed.
- In the event of a competitor protest, the school's History Day sponsor or representative must provide a formal written protest to the Committee Chair of the issue. The formal written request must include a specific reference to a violation of contest rules and/or protocol along with supporting information.
- Protests based simply on dissatisfaction with contest results or without specific connection to a protocol infraction will be automatically denied.
- The Committee Chair, with the help of their committee, will investigate protests with a specific connection to a protocol infraction and provide a written summary of the protest and pertinent information discovered during the investigation for the HOTRHF Executive Board's review. After reviewing the summary, the Executive Board will vote to either formally accept or deny the protest by a simple majority (50%+1). If the protest is accepted, the Executive Board will also develop a plan to reconcile the infraction.
- If the HOTRHF Executive Board cannot come to a decision, the Texas History Day (THD) Coordinator is contacted who, in turn, either handles the problem or passes it on to NHD.
- Whatever decision THD or NHD makes is the last word. HOTRHF never protests a THD or NHD decision once they have passed a problem on.
Fiscal Responsibility and Oversight
These are left to the established accounting procedures of the institution hosting a particular event. The basic principles that should guide the financial practices of an NHD organization are:
- The finances should be handled in an accurate and transparent manner.
- Fees should only be set at a level necessary to operate the contest and supporting activities.
- Organizations should not accrue significant ongoing surpluses, as this would be a sign of charging the schools and students too much.
All contests are held in public areas, and students are solely responsible for the safety and security or their own equipment and artifacts. HOTRHF officials and sponsors will not be responsible for the loss of or damage to exhibits, equipment, or personal belongings during the program.