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by Abigail Van Buren

Woman Waiting in Wings Is Ready for Main Stage

DEAR ABBY: I am employed by a national company to tutor high school students, one-on-one. For various reasons, I suspect that one of my students -- with whom I meet every one or two weeks -- may be smoking pot.

From a professional perspective, I feel this is none of my business. From a personal perspective, and as a parent myself, I am agonizing over whether I should bring my suspicions to the attention of his parent. If I were his parent, I would certainly want to know. Then again, my suspicions could be wrong. What is the ethical thing to do? -- UNSURE IN CONCORD, CALIF.

DEAR UNSURE: Your student's welfare IS your business. It's refreshing to know that someone is debating the "ethical" thing to do these days. If media reports are accurate, they lead us to believe that ethics have gone the way of the dinosaur.

Before approaching your student's parent, talk to the boy about your concerns. His problem may be something other than pot. At least give him a chance to explain. However, if your suspicions persist, by all means tell his parent what you have told me. You'll be doing both of them a favor.