About Us

The Choose Civility Initiative in Washington County was originally born out of a dialogue that occurred during a policy update within the public schools. A cross-functional team was developed to update the public schools’ policy to prevent bullying and harassment. Washington County Public Schools (WCPS) partners with a number of community leaders and organizations, including the Hagerstown City Police. The team recognized the need for a broader focus on civility throughout the entire community. WCPS became aware of P.M. Forni’s book, Choosing Civility, Twenty-Five Rules of Considerate Conduct, and a similar civility initiative within Howard County, Maryland. Choose Civility Washington County's chapter was the first county chapter of the Choose Civility Howard County initiative.

In 2017, Choose Civility Washington County was given the opportunity to re-establish the chapter during a summit organized by Choose Civility Howard County. Library system from nearly every county in the state committed to hosting events meant to foster community dialogue in 2018. 


Washington County chooses to be a model of civility.


We choose respect, consideration, empathy, and tolerance as our fundamental values, enhancing the community’s quality of life.

Principles of Civility

  • Pay attention
  • Listen
  • Speak kindly
  • Assume the best
  • Respect others’ opinions
  • Respect other people’s time and space
  • Be inclusive
  • Acknowledge others
  • Accept and give praise
  • Apologize earnestly
  • Assert yourself
  • Take responsibility and don’t blame others
  • Accept and give constructive criticism
  • Refrain from idle complaints
  • Be a considerate guest