Dear Abby: Son disillusioned by rampant cheating

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Dear Abby: My son attends an excellent public high school and has done very well. His class is scheduled to graduate in a few weeks, and “Brent” has been accepted to an excellent university.

My concern is Brent routinely reports blatant and widespread cheating throughout the school. The valedictorian cheated his way to the top of the class, a neighbor will be attending Princeton even though she was repeatedly caught cheating on tests, and another neighbor cheated on the ACT to achieve a score disproportionate to her grades and SAT scores.

The school turns a blind eye to the cheating and provides only nominal punishment in cases too blatant to ignore. Brent has become disenchanted and cynical about the administration and maintaining his integrity. What advice can I give my son when all around there are examples of cheaters coming out on top?

— Not a Cheater

Dear Not a Cheater: Point out to your son that sooner or later cheaters are unmasked when they arrive at college unprepared. The best advice you can give Brent would be to hang on to his integrity, resist the temptation to become bogged down in what others are doing, and study hard. Sooner or later — excellence and ethics are recognized.

Dear Abby: My wife, “Stella,” and I have been married 52 years. We have a daughter, “Candy,” who we adopted at 3 weeks old. Long story short, she graduated from high school, got married, then divorced, married again and has two daughters she has never raised.

We have taken our daughter to psychologists since she was 14 or 15. She got into drugs and wound up in prison. Once out of prison, Stella and I sent her to three rehabilitation facilities. She walked away from the last two.

Our daughter is now 46. I am ready to stop trying to help her, but Stella, whom I love dearly, doesn’t seem to be able to stop. I feel we are being enablers and should let Candy deal with her choices without further support from us. Any thoughts or comments?

— Over It in Oklahoma

Dear Over It: I agree. By now Stella should realize that whatever she does to help Candy won’t make her independent.

Because this is causing discord in your marriage, you and your wife should discuss this with a marriage and family therapist who may be able to help Stella recognize that she has done enough for the daughter she so clearly loves.

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