DEAR ABBY: I have a problem and no clue how to solve it. I teach in an international primary school in China, and was approached by the father of one of my students. I had given her a "C" in the class. Her father wanted me to change her grade to an "A." He felt that a "C" was too low a mark, even though I explained it was what she deserved.
While parents complaining about their children's marks is not uncommon, he offered me about $1,000 in local currency if I would change it. When I spoke about it to another teacher who has been here longer, he told me that bribery is very common in Asia. He did not mention whether he had ever accepted "gifts" like this.
What should I do? Accepting and not accepting this "gift" both have consequences. -- TEACHER IN CHINA
DEAR TEACHER: There is tremendous pressure on students in China to excel. What you have described may be common practice there, but that doesn't mean you must do it. If you accept the bribe, you will not only have violated your own principles, but may also make yourself vulnerable to blackmail in the future. Discuss this with the principal or director of the primary school, because if the school turns out incompetent graduates, eventually its reputation will suffer.