Join the debate. Vote Now on the Dear Abby Poll of the week.

by Abigail Van Buren

Teacher Frowns on Reading 'Dear Abby'

DEAR ABBY: I'm 13 and I have read your column for quite some time. I enjoy it and like to share and discuss some of the letters with my friends.

While I don't always agree with your answers, I always learn something new. I feel that this is the point of me reading your column. I do, however, have a problem with a teacher who feels I should not be reading "adult material" in the paper, and should concentrate on more "age appropriate" things.

Would you please give me advice on what to do or say to my teacher to make her understand this is not inappropriate material for a kid my age to be reading? I would really appreciate it, and I'll do whatever you say. -- WAYNE IN NEW YORK

DEAR WAYNE: My column has a readership that spans all ages. I know that because I receive letters from individuals from 9 to 90.

Your parents should decide what reading material is appropriate for you -- not your teacher, as well-meaning as she may be. When I was growing up, no literature in our home was off limits to me or my brother, and any questions we asked received straightforward answers. I hope it's the same for you, because children learn their family's values through frank and open communication.

Read more in: Teens | Work & School | Family & Parenting