DEAR ABBY: I have recently found out that someone I thought was a good friend is the person who snitched and got my daughter in serious trouble at school. Our daughters attended the same preschool, middle school and high school. Although they were friends, the friendship was more between us moms.
Before middle school graduation, the students had an outing at the beach. Some of the girls, my daughter included, decided to bring vodka and orange juice. A few days later, my daughter was called to the principal’s office where she was thoroughly reprimanded. Any awards she was to receive were rescinded. I learned from one of the teachers that this “friend” is the person who turned her in.
Why didn’t she come to me and tell me? I almost feel like she wanted my daughter to get in trouble. I have run into her a couple of times and have been cold and distant, but I want to confront her. I was going to write and tell her why. Do you think this is a good idea? — FURIOUS IN FLORIDA
DEAR FURIOUS: I don’t blame you for being upset, but an eighth-grader bringing alcohol to a school celebration is wrong on many levels. I do not advise putting anything in writing. Convey your message and get the answer you want by doing it directly, face to face. (c) DEAR ABBY
That’s incomplete advice. Let’s take a closer look here. I’d wager anything that the letter writer’s daughter (let’s call her Laura) was at the beach with the letter writer’s friend’s daughter (let’s call her Jane). Laura brought alcohol and used peer pressure (on purpose or not) to get Jane to drink orange juice and vodka. Like, “Come on, we’re all doing it.” Or just with the implication going unstated of, you don’t want to drink any? Okay… be that way. You’re not cool.
Jane’s mom found out about this, probably from Jane herself, and was righteously upset. Like, what the freak is going on here?! These kids are thirteen or fourteen years old.
Why didn’t she come to me and tell me? I almost feel like she wanted my daughter to get in trouble.
Yes, exactly. She wanted Laura to get in trouble, in large part because Laura deserved to get in trouble. The letter writer infers, by her above statement, that she wouldn’t have punished Laura on her own. It sounds like the perfect punishment was meted out: a stern lecture and no awards. I completely agree with this and approve of it. It seems a bit nontraditional due to how the bad behavior had nothing to do with school, but since we know Laura’s mom would’ve dropped the ball, it’s perfect.
I think Dear Abby gave lame, generic advice instead of delving into it more deeply.