Well, I really hope I've done the right thing. Last week while meeting with school principal she tells me that they had reviewed tape recordings from school bus and difficult child was in trouble (in-school suspension for 3 days) . difficult child had voluntarily told me that part of the story already. According to him, kids had been rough-housing on the bus and he got in trouble. According to principal, he had gotten way to rough and had hit 2 kids- one being a girl. I asked if she meant that he hit in a violent, provoking way or if it was horse play getting out of hand- not that it was appropriate for that anyway, but wanted to know if he was trying to bully. She said if it had been violent or really trying to fight, he wouldn't be at school at all. ok. difficult child had told me the girl was a friend of his and I am aware that she's a bit more on the tom-boy side who plays with difficult child and his best friend (male). She has been at our house, sometimes with her sister, to play a few times. Still, I talk with difficult child about "she's still a girl- you can't rough-house the same with her". Of course they wrote him up for "hitting other students" and specifically, only say he was punching a girl in the stomach. Now the worst news- principal then tells me that a couple of kids from the bus voluntarily told them some things about difficult child while they were being questioned about bus incident. These things were that kids in the neighborhood were afraid of difficult child because he bullied them, went around bragging that I wasn't home a lot and when I'm not home he goes out and does whatever he wants to, has cut up animals, set fires in neighborhood, broken glass on the streets, torn up and vandalized street signs. WOW! So, in my shock I say ok, well either this is all rumor or difficult child has been saying things that aren't true (yes, he's not always logical enough to realize that his way of impressing other kids isn't a smart way), or he has actually done these things. The principal kept looking at me like she was waiting to see what I was going to do about it. I asked if they were going to look into it to see if there was any truth in it. She said no. I said I'd had NEVER known difficult child to harm any animal and that some of it couldn't possibly be true- like being left home a lot or being out by himself a lot. Anyway, I left and asked difficult child about it when he got home from school. He is adamnt that he never did or said he did any of these things and cannot believe any kids he knows in this neighborhood would say any of this about him. I should point out- the admin staff in this school can get kids and adults to say almost anything. When I talk too them I feel like I'm being interviewed by one of those policeman that solicit confessions out of innocent people. Also, I and the school staff know that difficult child has confessed to everything he's done wrong so it's add a little more weight to the fact he might be telling the truth, in my opinion. He was also adamant that all the kids were out of control on the bus and he doesn't understand why he was the only one that got into trrouble. (Maybe the others sold him out? I don't know.) So, the next day, I email principal and asked if I could see the tape and if the neighborhood kids who said these things could sit with difficult child and I and someone from school and discuss exactly what difficult child has said or done. I thought this would help me clear everything up in my own mind. Principal responded "no" in an email yesterday, she also spelled out each one of these allegations in the email and copied all the other admin staff at school and difficult child's case manager. She sounded angry in the email- like she thought I was just trying to get difficult child out of trouble and trying to get them to do things they could not do. Well, I think she did what she did with that email to make sure this got documented at school in difficult child's file, with all allegations spelled out so she can bring it out later and say she told me, but I didn't do anything about it. Also, those "seeds of doubt" are now planted in the minds of each person in authority over difficult child at school. I emailed her back saying that there was nothing I could do about it if I don't know who the kids were that said these things, I have seen absolutely no indication at home that they are true, and the other kids are still playing with difficult child and none of them appear afraid to me. Also, if kids tell her things like this in the future and she can't do anything, maybe she could suggest that they discuss it with their parents and their parents are welcome to call me anytimee to discuss concerns they have about difficult child. Thurs. evening difficult child tells me his best friend (also a boy in the neighborhood) won't speak to him because he thinks difficult child stole his earphonoes- expensive ones he'd gotten for Christmas. difficult child was adamant about this too- he did not do it- same tone of voice, words, etc., that he'd used when I had asked him about the other rumors. So I call best friend's Mom to get their side of story. As it turns out, the Mom said she had taken the earphones but hadn't mentioned it to her son. She spoke with him, he called and apologized, all is well. Except he had already told at least one other kid in neighborhood that difficult child stole from him (the same girl from bus). So, I guess that will be another rumor. But, this let me know FOR SURE that difficult child did not steal this and makes me think he's telling the truth about these other rumors. Besides, when he's out playing, he's almost always with this boy. Anyway, I printed the email from teacher and my respoonse and faxed them to PO and GAL. I emailed case manager at school and said if there is nothing else I can do, I'll notify GAL in case the issue doesn't fade out. Have I stirred up trouble for difficult child with GAL? Am I hoping for too much to think maybe she'll go to school district and say you should either look into it or drop it and not document it? Any chance GAL will ASSUME there is truth to it? My gut feeling is that this is going to turn into something bigger- but I don't know what to expect from it. Will GAL get police to investigate? If difficult child is innocent, this could be a good thing, right? I was afraid NOT to tell PO and GAL and thought the quicker the better- do you think this was a mistake? Suggestions? Can anyone see a particular action I should prepare for? Thanks!!