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Student Sparks Drama By Refusing To Give Phone Number To Group Project Members Who’ve Fallen Behind

Tara Moore/ Getty Images

Doing group projects is one of the most frustrating school experiences.

There is always someone who is doing most of the work and others who just write down their names.

Redditor self-conscious- encountered this very issue with their group project. So they turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for moral judgment.

They asked:

“AITA for not giving my number out for a group project everyone else is falling behind in?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“I kind of feel like an asshole, but I’m really not trying to be.”

“I’m taking a fully online class, no Zoom meetings, everything done through canvas.”

“I’m in research group for this class made up of myself and 5 other people.”

“Our research proposal is due tonight, this is the week we were supposed to work on it, and… nobody has really worked on it but me. I set up a group discussion on canvas, outlined my ideas for the proposal, received an okay from one other student, and then nothing. From anyone.”

“Until tonight.”

OP provided more context.

“I went ahead and completed the proposal and made an announcement updating everyone asking them to please add whatever they think would be good to include and at least, bare minimum, type their own name on it so we have their stamp of approval to turn it in (one other person has added their name so far).”

“This is all relevant at the end, not just me ranting, I promise!”

OP’s classmates did not follow suit.

“Most of my announcements and discussions went ignored until today, when someone suggested we make a group chat.”

“The thing is, I’ve had experiences being cyberstalked in the past and… seriously, just, never again.”

“I have a new phone number now and I’m extremely strict with who I give it out to. I give a google voice number to most people and there’s no issue, but I don’t think they support group chats.”

“I said I’d prefer to keep our communications on canvas so they’re all in one place.”

OP didn’t know if they were right.

“I feel like I might be the a**hole because obviously they’re having a hard time keeping up with the group work and maybe having text notifications would help remind them better/keep them more in the loop.”

Redditors gave their opinions on the situation by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Most Redditors agreed OP was not the a**hole.


“I’m assuming the teacher can check time stamps on Canvas, which is why they don’t want to use it. Keep all communications in a way you can prove are legit.”

“This is the single most important lesson you can ever learn. Always CYA (cover your ass).” ~ ICWhatsNUrP

“NTA, their platform for communication was set up for the exact purpose of making communicating easy and in one place.”

“I assume there was prior communication stating that this is the week to work on it. It’s not your job to remind them via texts.”

“However, if it is affecting your grades then you need to address it with them, and the teacher (if a resolution can not be found with the other students first).” ~ BoredLifeGames

OP agreed.

“Thank you!”

“There was definitely prior communication, from the professor directed to the entire class and also from me lol.”

“Luckily I’ve been capable of doing everything that needed to be done, but I’m definitely going to bring up to them that we need to delegate tasks and set some earlier check ins and see how that goes.” ~ self-conscious-

Others informed OP of other platforms they can use.

“NTA and maybe you should consider GroupMe?”

“It’s an app/site where you make a group chat, but it all shows up under one number (really useful when I had my slide phone).”

“That way no one else in your group has your number, and they can only contact you through GroupMe.” ~ CodenameBuckwin


“I don’t know what canvas is but I’ll assume it doesn’t have notifications. Even so, they should have had the foresight to check the app earlier on.” ~ hello_detour


“Don’t give out your phone number if you’re not comfortable. There is no reason people cant communicate through Canvas.”

“Currently in a similar situation with my group project and I’ll add FUCK GROUP PROJECTS!” ~ happylemon06

Redditors said OP’s classmates were at fault.


“It doesn’t sound like they’re having a hard time ‘keeping up with the group work,’ it sounds like they’re plain not doing the group work.”

“They’ve waited until the last minute and are in panic mode.”

“That isn’t your problem. If you have to let the teacher know what’s going on so it doesn’t impact YOUR grade.” ~ DeoRexRat


“They are trying to backpedal here. The teacher can see they did 0 on Canvas so now they want to have texts for ‘proof’ that they were involved.”

“I would inform the teacher what is going in, with proof of them not responding.” ~ Relser


“Also, as a professor that uses Canvas, I BEG YOU please tell your prof what’s happening.”

“Don’t let other people freeload off you. We actually care that students learn this stuff and don’t steal the work of others.” ~ cyranothe2nd


“If they don’t want to do the project, they’re not going to and a group text isn’t going to make a bit of difference. Keep it somewhere with time stamps so you can prove what was done when.”


“The girl in the project group text who is left on read.” ~. SunflowerDaydream893

“Please make sure that your teacher/professor is aware of who is doing what within the group.”

“Often a teacher will give separate grades for a group project if certain members aren’t pulling their own weight, which is what it sounds like should happen here.”

“Perhaps approach the teacher and ask for advice as to how they would like you to handle things?”

“You shouldn’t give out your number, not that part, you’re NTA, but just in overall terms of work product, the teacher needs to know who is and isn’t doing their part.” ~ NHFNCFRE

The OP returned with an update.

“Thank you so much to everyone for the advice!”

“I feel a lot better about everything and now feel kind of silly for thinking I was being an a**hole.”

“I received some great suggestions for group messaging apps for future reference- and will definitely be communicating with my group members about sharing tasks in the future!”

OP deserves to take credit for their work. And they aren’t wrong for setting boundaries.