DEAR ABBY: I am a girl in the fourth grade, and there are some mean people in my class. They're always making fun of this girl from China.
When I see them teasing her, I want to be nice to her -- but I'm afraid if I am nice to her, they will make fun of me.
I am one of the cool kids. Abby, please tell me if I should be her friend. -- TRYING TO BE NICE IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR TRYING: You are an intelligent, compassionate girl. The time to be a friend is when somebody needs one, and your classmate certainly needs one now. One effective way to defuse this kind of harassment is to speak up and say that YOU don't think what the bully is saying is funny.
Another way is to tell your parents, your teacher and the principal what is happening. That girl is being harassed because of her race -- and it is against the law for it to be ignored. So don't wait. Speak up now. I commend you for writing.