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Wendy Taylor,  Santa Fe, NM

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Dear Sunny,

I need to get something off my chest.  My child's teacher has said he may not drink water from the water fountain in the classroom.  Does this sound like discrimination to you?   I contacted the principal and he said he would talk to the teacher.  I sent her an email and she responded that she thinks it's best if someone like Kiernan (my son) brings a water bottle from home.  Can she do this?

                          - Concerned

Dear Concerned -

    Are you absolutely sure you have the whole story?  As Kiernan's mom, you probably don't know what it's like being a young boy, but if you have brothers, as I do, you might be able to imagine what they are like.    They can be ornery, and often figure out what their parents want to hear when they get caught.    Sit Kiernan down and ask him for the entire story, not just the part that he feels like sharing.  Then let him know the two of you are going to talk to the teacher.   See what happens to his story then.

     Please try to think of Kiernan as a real person, with the same flaws as the rest of us.  That doesn't make him bad -- it makes him real.  I've never known a teacher to deny a student water from the water fountain.  Not unless he has decided to make the water fountain his own personal 'splash everyone around' device.

                               Love, Sunny

Dear Sunny,

    My mom wants to send me to a Catholic school.  I'm scared of leaving my friends, but that's why she wants to do it.  How can I keep her from changing my school?

Dear Anxious -

Your mom probably wants the best for you, and she thinks that changing your school will allow for this.

    Why don't you sit down with her when neither of you is in a bad mood and ask her what she thinks a change of school will do for you?

     One of the hardest things about being young is that it's very difficult to see beyond next week.  Your mom has the benefit of years on this planet, and she might see you making some of the same mistakes that she did.  Education is about getting prepared for the world after you grow up.  Why not let your  mom be part of the preparation?  If you ask her in a mature way, she might respond in a mature way.  Give it a try.

                               Love, Sunny

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