DEAR ABBY: I am a 16-year-old girl -- a sophomore in a wonderful high school. We have some of the best test scores in the state. Our teachers go the extra mile to help us. Our teams excel in almost every sport. However, there's something about my high school that is not so terrific. I'm talking about how the "popular crowd" treats others.
Everyone knows who the popular kids are. They are the ones who get drunk and smoke weed over the weekend. They think they are superior because they wear nice clothes and their parents buy them whatever they want. They pick on kids who aren't up to their level. It's disgusting.
Abby, please inform these kids that they really aren't better than anyone else. They hurt others in ways you can't imagine. How would the popular kids like going to a place where they are tormented for wearing the same pants they wore last week? How will the popular crowd act after they graduate? Employers won't hire them just because they have nice clothes!
Parents who suspect their children treat others this way should watch them closely and urge them to be nicer to their classmates. -- KNOWS THE REAL DEAL
DEAR KNOWS: You're right, they should. Unfortunately, the snobs who look down on fellow students usually don't act that way in front of their parents.
I recently read an article about a terrific middle school music teacher who opened her music room at lunch hour to first-year students who were being teased and excluded. It provided young people a safe, inviting refuge where they wouldn't be hazed. The students who lunched in her room were welcoming, democratic, well-behaved -- and appreciated the nurturing surroundings. More schools, including high schools, should consider something similar.