Ask Amy

Thursday, October 29, 2009 at 11:45pm

DEAR AMY: My child goes to high school and has a teacher who is young and pretty.

The boys found her profile on Facebook, and her profile picture is a bit provocative. It's not terribly provocative — she is fully clothed — but the photo is definitely very sexy, which explains the boys' interest in it.

Should this be brought to the administration's attention — or am I being overly concerned?

I would think that if you know your students are going to seek you out on a public Web site, you would want to look a little more discreet.

Please let me know what you think.

— Concerned Mom

DEAR CONCERNED: I agree that teachers should be discreet in their public profiles, but then I also think that CPAs, veterinarians and Paris Hilton should be more discreet too.

Adults who teach young people have a responsibility to conduct themselves appropriately when they are in the school community.

This doesn't preclude them from being young and attractive, but teachers need to be aware that they are — for better or worse — being watched by their students.

This doesn't sound serious enough to warrant your marching in to the administration, but you could take it up with the teacher directly.

Just say, "You should know that the boys in school are very interested in your Facebook page. I'm wondering if you might want to rethink your profile photo."

According to you this photograph rests somewhere along the margins of appropriate. Give this young teacher an opportunity to reflect on her choices and make a change if she wants to.


DEAR AMY: Within the last two weeks I've noticed a man and woman who both regularly wait at my bus stop sitting in her car.

They do more than just talk. They kiss in plain view of anyone else at the bus stop who might look their way.

I know the woman is married and has kids — because she has told me this when we've chatted at the bus stop. I think the man is also married or at least has a live-in girlfriend.

Having been on the receiving end of an unfaithful wife, I can imagine what the woman's husband will go through when and if he finds out. Still, I'm more concerned about the children. My son has a poor relationship with his mother because of what she did and the effect on him.

The woman's children will also be devastated when their family is torn apart.

I know this isn't my business, but I know what I've seen, and I know the hurt they're likely to cause their families when they find out.

Should I say something?

— Concerned Commuter

DEAR CONCERNED: If you saw people at your bus stop smoking cigarettes and you had personal experience with lung cancer, you'd be tempted to try to make them aware of the consequences of their actions.

However, the consequences of smoking and adultery are well-known. People don't need you to educate them. Though you seem to know the basics of the families involved, you don't actually know their personal situations.

If you must speak, make a banal statement, with a twist of humor: "I envy your keeping yourselves warm before the bus comes. Let me know if you've got any room in the back of the car. I'll buy the coffee."


DEAR AMY: Thank you for responding well for people who are grieving.

My wife died a year and a half ago.

My friends and family have given advice and asked the typical questions. I think that they are trying to fill in those awkward silences.

Also, once they have spoken with me they have absolved themselves of guilt because now it is up to the griever to "get over it."

I have a counselor at hospice. She has never asked me how I am, and I am grateful.

What I want from people is to be touched or for them to hold my hand for a moment, look me in the eye and say nothing.

It is not easy, but it sure means a lot when it has happened.

— Harry

DEAR HARRY: Thank you so much for offering the wisdom gained from your painful experience.

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