Should You Tell On a Classmate Who’s Cheating?

You’re halfway through the test when you look up. That’s when you see it: One of your classmates is cheating. You look around the classroom. No one else has noticed—not even the teacher.

Unfortunately, scenes like this one are common. A recent study showed that up to 95 percent of U.S. high school students admitted to having cheated at least once. Would you tell if you saw someone cheating?

Here’s what two of our readers think.

I saw a classmate cheating on a math test. I told our teacher because it was the right thing to do. It wouldn’t have been fair if that student had gotten a higher grade than someone who had studied for the test.

But it wasn’t just about fairness. When students cheat, they’re learning less. Also, it’s better for kids to learn now not to cheat. The consequences could be much worse later in life. They could get kicked out of college or lose a job.

Cheating is wrong, but instead of telling on the person, you could talk to them. What if it was a one-time mistake? Maybe they were sick and fell behind on schoolwork. They deserve a second chance. And if a classmate knows you saw them, they might decide not to cheat the next time.

Besides, when a classmate cheats, it doesn’t usually affect your grade. Cheaters are only hurting themselves.

What do you think?
Should you tell on a classmate who’s cheating?
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