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March 10, 2019

SHOULD I LET MY BFF CHEAT?!

Hey Brandon,
I love my BFF, but she’s always copying my work! I feel like the only reason she tells me to sit next to her in class is to copy my work, and I’ve caught her looking a bunch of times. She even asked me to tell her the answers on a state test once! Should I let her cheat? I don’t want to tell the teacher, because if I did, she would be mad at me. What should I do???
Bothered By Cheating BFF

Hey Bothered By Cheating BFF,

UGH! Your friend is putting you in a awful position! I’m so sorry. I’m guessing she doesn’t really think it’s a big deal. Maybe she thinks school is easy for you, so what difference does it make to you?

But that doesn’t really matter. Maybe school IS easy for you. Or maybe you study for hours every night. Either way, it’s wrong for her to cheat. AND it’s wrong to make you feel used.

So first of all, you shouldn’t let her cheat. If you let her cheat, she won’t learn, and also if you guys get caught, you’ll both be in trouble. I think you know that, or you wouldn’t be so upset. I can totally understand why you don’t want to tell the teacher. You don’t want to get your friend in trouble, and you don’t want her to be mad at you.

I think you should talk to her, even if you’ve already tried. Try again, because she’s your friend and not just some random kid cheating off you. Tell her you care about her and don’t want to get her in trouble, but you’re super uncomfortable when you feel like she wants to copy your answers. You might also explain how hard you work to know those answers and it doesn’t feel fair for her to just take them.

Maybe you can offer to study with her, so she knows you want her to succeed. Or see if you can help her find another solution – a tutoring center at school or the library, maybe? Or suggest some study tips, or let her see the notes you take in class.

It sounds like you get to choose your seats, so I’d suggest telling her that if she’s going to keep asking to copy your answers, you’ll have to sit somewhere else. It doesn’t mean you don’t want to be friends and you’ll still hang out outside class, but for a while you’re going to sit somewhere else. (You could make up a reason like needing to be closer to see the board if someone else asks why.)

I hope your friend will realize how unfair she’s being. Whether or not she keeps cheating is up to her, and it’ll only hurt her in the long run, even if she doesn’t get caught. But she needs to leave you out of it!

Have you ever had a friend try to cheat off your work? What did you do? What advice would you give Bothered By Cheating BFF? Tell us in the comments.