Stealing academic work and fraternal correction


Dear CAF members,

Hi, I was wondering,

Assuming someone is in a high school:

  1. a. What is the moral obligation regarding knowing people who are cheating in school? b. Are we bound to tell the teacher, even if it’s a small infringement? c. What if these acts happened last school year, would I still be bound to tell the teacher of another student’s honestly faults?

  2. What is the moral obligation regarding knowing people who may use drugs outside of school hours. Are we bound to report these people to the school authorities?

Thank you



I do have the perspective of the high schooler (youth and experience, my friend), so let me provide it to the best of my ability.

The question stemming from the two aforementioned ones sounds like confusion over whether this is our obligation. At the least, we ought to rebuke sin (Luke 17:3, etc); if they do not listen, we have to “take with you one or two more” to the matter (Matthew 18:16). I’m not sure how “big” the obligation is, but clearly there is something there to consider.

After school hours, I don’t understand how this is the school’s issue primarily. Yes, counseling may come into play somewhere, but this is either under parental jurisdiction (the authority of their parents, for it is their child) or legal authority (if it ever gets that far). The school is merely the means of convergence between children, right? For this, I would say that one has a social and moral obligation to do something, because drugs destroy lives and harm the greater society as a whole.

God bless.


The answer to all three questions is no.

Parents, teachers, and school principals are all aware of issues like illegal drugs and academic dishonesty. It is their responsibility, not the other students at the school.


Oh, I need to elaborate. I do not mean that you need to seek help (which, although it would courageous, is unnecessary for an “outsider” to the person), but rather that one might want to tell somebody about this issue (probably a parent or trustworthy friend). Also, pray.



Nose to the grindstone friend.
Your job right now is to take YOUR education seriously and to the very best of your ability.


If your not willing to first talk to the person you have in mind, then mind your own business.

So you see, the premise of your questions are incorrect. As a Catholic who is in-between childhood and adulthood, you have to transition from ‘telling an adult’ to being the adult and talking to the individual in question yourself about whatever your concern for them is. BTW, what is your concern for them? Are you concerned for them at all, or are you just trying to find out if you have an obligation to turn someone in, so that you can cover yourself.

Your moral obligation is to your formation. Don’t tell anyone about other peoples problems. You are more likely to do harm than good. Unless it’s an issue of life or death, or child abuse, keep out of it, unless you want to do the confronting. This is advice for you, a young person in high school.


I have a mixed vote between the posts you got from the Catholics and the Protestant above me.


There is a better way.

Here is the principle by which you should act:

Bring out the best in your friends.

Set a good example. Support good behavior. Do not participate in bad behavior. Offer good advice at the right time. Do these things always with charity. Teens have a great deal of influence on other teens. Use that influence, when you can, to make things better.


Thank you for all the answers. I indeed used to cheat all the time in school, so I can’t say that I’m better than them. And if my parents were careful to keep me from drugs, I would have also fallen into drug use. These kids need guidance, as we all need.
I won’t tell any teachers, but I’ll encourage them from doing these things.

Please pray for me against pride, as this is my main vice.

All the best!


Praying for your intentions.


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