Annie Fox for Teens... Hey, Terra!

Annie (AKA Hey Terra!) has been around long enough to have experienced a lot of what Life can dish out. But, it hasn’t been so long that she's forgotten what it's like to be your age. Check out some of the thousands of email questions teens from around the world have sent to Terra. You may learn something useful from her answers:

“I'm teased at school and all my mom says is 'Ignore them.'”

Hey Terra,

The kids at my school tease me because I'm a vegetarian and I'm not good at sports. I feel like I don't have any real friends because they're constantly telling me how weird I am, and this one girl, that I have to sit next to, enjoys throwing my pens and notebooks off my desk. I've tried telling my mom about this, but all of the things she told me to do didn't work, like ignoring them and laughing with them. The say my food is gross and they never listen to what I have to say. Sometimes I get so frustrated, that I start screaming at them. Then they ask me why I'm so mad. It's like they purposely upset me for fun. What should I do?

Still Screaming

Dear Still Screaming,

Thanks for writing. I'm sorry that you're going through such a rough time right now. What these kids are doing is rude, insensitive, and cruel. I can't say that I understand why they are doing it, but I totally understand why this is so upsetting to you.

Your mom loves you and she is trying to help with the advice she's giving, but it's not working. That's not your fault or her fault.

Please show your mom this email and talk to her again. Let her know that you need her help in getting through to the adults at school.

The law says that every school is responsible for the safety of all of its students (that means physical safety and emotional safety). Teasing is NOT ACCEPTABLE.

Either with your mom's intervention or on your own, you need to speak up and let teachers, the principal and the school counselor know what is going on and how you feel about it.

It's their job to make sure this behavior stops. The students who are teasing you also have parents who ought to know what's going on. Get your mom to get in touch with their parents. Teasing is serious business and kids need to get the message that it's NEVER OK to make fun of people.

If you talk to the principal, etc., and nothing changes, then have your mom go to the school board.

Keep speaking out. It's your right to go to school without being teased.

By writing to me you show that you have courage and that you want to make a change. That's awesome. Now I hope my reply gives you the courage you need to take the next step.

Let me know what happens. I care about you.

In friendship,


Need some advice? Write to Terra. She'll give you a straight answer you can trust without any lectures.

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