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by Abigail Van Buren

Distant Friend Makes Little Effort to Maintain Closeness

DEAR ABBY: Why is it important to go to school? My mom always tries to get me to go, but I don't want to. She has been having me go to some therapist at Youth and Family Service. I don't like it taking up my whole summer.

Also, I have to repeat sixth grade because of my missing school. I mean, I'm not going to need any of the stuff they teach. -- CONFUSED IN WESTBROOK, CONN.

DEAR CONFUSED: Attending school is important because basic skills are being taught that you will need when you are a little older, just to get by. A knowledge of math, English, social studies, history and civics are necessary in order to become a fully functional citizen and fit into society.

The question you should be asking isn't, "Why is it important to go to school?" but rather, "Why was I so unwilling to go that I now must repeat a grade?" If you are having trouble with the other children, help is available through counseling. If you need extra help with the work, there are special teachers who can help you. But first you have to be honest about what is the real problem.