DEAR ABBY: Please help me deliver a message to a family here about their son, who is a fifth-grader in the school my children also attend.
These parents are well-known. They refuse to allow their son to get his hair cut, and it has caused him to withdraw from sports at school. He told some of his friends that he would like to get his hair cut because the other kids are calling him a girl. He just sits at home and plays games on TV. He's afraid to let his parents know about the teasing. Even some of the adults are afraid to talk to them.
I believe this to be a form of child abuse. The boy's parents read your column in the local paper. Please help him because the name-calling is bound to get worse as he gets older. -- ANOTHER PARENT IN TENNESSEE
DEAR PARENT: Surely these "well-known" parents love their son. Sometimes children are reluctant to confide to their parents that they're being teased because they are too ashamed. Because the boy is the target of ridicule, his teacher or the principal should have a talk with the mother or father. However, if they are too intimidated to raise the subject, then you should.