DR. WALLACE: My best friend is upset with one of her teachers because she feels that he doesn't like her and therefore he is not giving her the grade she thinks she earned. She talked to him, but the teacher got mad at her for thinking that he was unfair. Now my friend is thinking about telling the principal that this teacher "propositioned" her even though he didn't.
I was shocked when she told me this. I told her that she would be making a huge mistake if she followed through with her threat. I told my mother about this and she said that I should tell the principal what my friend is contemplating.
I really don't want to get her in trouble and I would lose her as a friend if I squealed on her. What should I do? — Nameless, Miami, Fla.
NAMELESS: Your friend is contemplating an extremely foolish and harmful course of action. Talk to her again and do your best to persuade her not to lie about sexual harassment, letting her know that, if she went ahead with such a selfish and vindictive scheme, you'd be obligated to tell the principal she was lying.
Telling a lie that could cause a teacher enormous grief, a ruined reputation, and possible arrest and dismissal from teaching is a grievous and unforgivable act. It would also rob future students of protection against actual harassment, because those in authority would be less likely to believe them.
Make sure this girl understands that your friendship with her would immediately cease if she follows through with her threat.
I APPRECIATE YOUR SCHOOL AWARD
DR. WALLACE: On the last day of school before summer break, I was given an award from the principal for not missing one day of school for the entire school year. My parents were invited to our awards day assembly, but both work and didn't want to take time off.
When I showed them my perfect attendance plaque, all they said was, "That's nice." I really felt let down - for their not attending the assembly and for not giving me any praise for my award. Am I being selfish or do I have a right to be disappointed? — Jewel, Portland, Ore.
JEWEL: I'm sure Mom and Dad are proud of you. They certainly should be — you're a chip off the old block. Attendance is obviously an important value to both of them, since neither wanted to take the day off work to attend the awards ceremony.
There may be good reasons for their decision, but they should have told you how happy they are to have such a wonderful daughter. Having a perfect attendance record is a great accomplishment. As a former educator, I definitely appreciate your award. Congratulations!
Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. E-mail him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.