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by Abigail Van Buren

Son Fears Being Bullied as He Enters High School

DEAR ABBY: My sweet, introverted son has just started high school. He's a shy person who has a hard time making friends, and the few friends he had in middle school aren't attending the same high school. He has confided that he is terrified that he will be bullied and won't know how to respond. He asked me if there was a phrase that repels bullies. I told him I don't know any and I would ask you. -- WORRIED MOM

DEAR WORRIED MOM: Like your son, many students transitioning to high school are afraid of the unknown. Why is he afraid of being bullied? Did it happen to him in middle school? If so, why? Many schools have antibullying policies in place, and students who are subjected to it should report it immediately.

While I know of no one-size-fits-all phrase that will repel a bully, I do think that enrolling your son in martial arts classes would give him a sense of confidence that he is lacking now. You should also encourage him to get involved with special interest groups at his new school, which might enable him to meet and interact with more kids and possibly make new friends.

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