DEAR ABBY: I am a 13-year-old girl in junior high. I'm being harassed at school by three boys. I'm not popular, attractive or fashionable. I am athletic, quiet and a straight-A student.
These boys are jocks, so they have everyone wrapped around their little fingers. They call me terrible names, take things from me and treat me like dirt. It has gotten to the point where I come home crying. I have tried everything -- ignoring them and just walking away. My few friends won't help me because they like these boys.
When I told my parents, they said I should just ignore them, and repeated it when I told them it wasn't working. Abby, it's impossible to ignore them because they get louder and meaner until they are hitting me or poking me, trying to get me to respond. I am at my breaking point and I don't think I can take it any longer. I don't know who to turn to. Please help me. -- HURT IN OHIO
DEAR HURT: No one has the right to touch you without your permission. Doing so could be considered a form of assault. Many schools have a zero-tolerance policy for this kind of behavior.
I'm sorry to say that no one can prevent bullies from name-calling if it's done out of earshot from adults. However, because their behavior has escalated to hitting and poking, bring it to the attention of a school counselor or your principal. Your parents should accompany you when you do it because the bullying won't stop without intervention. Please tell them I said so.