“What’s the Right Thing To Do?” is a monthly column featuring ethical dilemmas with responses from students in the Greater Boston area. I am aware of the daily dilemmas students face and this column, of interest to both students and their parents, helps people openly discuss these issues and bring these ethical discussions we all face to the forefront. This concept is especially timely because we are faced with very challenging ethical dilemmas, which are even more prevalent now because of the power and influence of social media.
One of your close friends tells you an important secret and tells you not to tell anyone. When you think back to the secret later, you realize what they did was wrong and they should be exposed.
“I would tell my friend that their actions were wrong and encourage them to do something to better the situation. If they don’t listen to me, then I would not tell anyone their secret because it is not my business to share. I would not want anyone to expose my secrets. If what this friend did was really bad, then I would distance myself from them because I do not want to be associated with someone who would do something bad.”
—Caroline, 17 years old
“This is a difficult situation because, on one hand, I would want to stay loyal to my friend, but on the other I know telling someone is the right thing to do. If this person was truly my friend then I think it’s important for the situation to be resolved. I would talk to my friend and convince them to go to a trusted adult to help resolve the situation. If they refused, I would go to a trusted adult myself and ask for help on how to handle this situation and who to tell.”
—Lily, 15 years old
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