This is the time of year when students begin to ask for letters of recommendation for various reasons. Normally this is no problem for me. For the first time ever I turned a student down, since it is a matter of professional integrity that I be honest in such a letter. Given that, I asked the student what he would write if he were me. He smiled and admitted he could have a better attitude and work ethic in class. I suggested he ask his math teacher for the recommendation (it was for a science/math based internship). For some reason, high school seems to be the first time many students are faced with the reality that there can be consequences for their behavior. Hopefully this student will recognize that there is a lesson to be learned here. Has anyone else declined to write a letter of recommendation? Could I have handled this differently?