DEAR ABBY: Our daughter recently turned 14. When she was asked what she wanted for her birthday, she said, "A promise ring." My husband and I sat quietly as our hearts raced with fear of what was coming next. She slowly explained that promise rings are given to daughters by their fathers and a promise is made that the daughter will refrain from having sex until she is married. Years ago, the significance of a promise ring was different.
Needless to say, she got the promise ring for her birthday and has not taken it off since. Abby, I'm asking you to print this letter because when my daughter wore her ring to school the next day, she was ridiculed, degraded and insulted by her teacher for wearing it.
If the teacher had taken a moment to allow my daughter to share the experience with her, she would have thought the ring was a terrific idea. However, my daughter was not given the opportunity. All the students know the significance of promise rings. The teacher was the only one in the dark. Sometimes things aren't as they seem. -- PROUD MOTHER IN ILLINOIS
DEAR PROUD MOTHER: I agree the concept is terrific, because it allows parents and their daughters to discuss and reinforce their family values. If the teacher was guilty of making disparaging remarks about your daughter's ring, you should certainly make your feelings known to the teacher. The significance of the promise ring needs to be explained to this educator.