Granted, I am still a fairly new teacher (5 years and counting!) and I have had the joy of getting to know a broad range of personalities in children, but I have never encountered someone like a little girl in my second grade class this year. Get comfy and put your thinking caps on, this is a bit of a tale. Allow me to introduce Sayla; She was born in Sweden, mother is Swedish and father is American ( she is fluent in both languages and is learning French with surprising speed). For reasons unknown (listed simply as 'hardship transfers') she has switched schools four times in the two years she has been enrolled in the school system. Sayla is exceptionally bright, so bright I wonder what her IQ is (on the first day of school she told me in very technical detail how a blackhole is formed) and strikingly pretty with an infectious personality; she seems to have kids lined up wanting to play with her. The problem is, Sayla doesn't want to play with other children. She claims they are 'exceptionally boring', that she 'hates other kids' and would rather talk to adults because she feels they are more 'on her level'. I gave her an independent vocabulary test and she read up to freshman college level before having problems. I'm really astounded by her, and I fear she is bored in my class. I've tried talking to her parents but, well, that is another problem... Sayla is listed as living with her grandmother and seems to switch homes between relatives fairly often (even at one point overseas!). I can't seem to find out who she really lives with! When I ask her about her family members she won't answer, but will tell me in great detail about her favorite pet (another red flag, when she told me she doesn't like kids, but she feels extreme empathy for the suffering of animals and seems generally distressed when she hears of any kind of animal being hurt (even minor things), though shows little interest in the injuries of her classmates) or the time she stayed with her best friend down the street for awhile. Her parents are divorced, and I notice on certain Mondays she comes back extremely depressed and withdrawn. She also became hysterically upset when I returned a math test to her and she had missed some questions and begged me to 'destroy the paper'. I also have noticed she doesn't like to share; we had an incident the other day during our science lesson (blowing bubbles with soap and wands). Sayla went into the classroom without my permission (she often does things on her own without asking and doesn't seem to understand why she can't do things without supervision), grabbed a bowl from our art sink and used it to pour some of the soap water for her private use. A little girl came over and dipped her wand in Sayla's bowl, to which she responded with upending the bowl of soapy water into the girl's eyes. The little girl was crying and said she only wanted to play with Sayla, to which she replied "I don't want to play with someone like you! You will ruin everything!" I've looked for signs of physical abuse but I don't see any. I can't understand this girl, she is so charming to the point I wonder if it is borderline manipulation, as she has been known to manipulate the kids in her class for her amusement, but doesn't seem to manipulate the adults she deems worthy or 'up to her level'. But at the same time she's so sweet, and she talks with so much enthusiasm about, well, anything that interests her (at least to adults, with her peers she talks in a very condescending tone, and treats them as though they are years younger than her). Another thing that worries me, is, well, regarding going home she doesn't seem like she wants to. The only time I met her father was a little after 9pm a few weeks ago. Sayla stays for after-school care, and usually is gone by 5. It was already 6pm when I was leaving my classroom and happened to stop by the gym to talk to the supervising teacher and I saw Sayla was there. I asked her why she was still here and she didn't seem too concerned, so I went home. About 8:30 I received a call from the supervising teacher and was told Sayla was still at the after-school care; they had tried her home and emergency numbers but no answer. Feeling responsible for her, I came back to school to talk to Sayla, worried she might be upset at the thought of not being able to go home. Instead, she said something very curious to me: 'Oh, so am I going to live with you now?'. It wasn't so much what she said, but how she said it... in a very matter-of-fact tone, as though this was a normal thing for her. After awhile we finally got through to her father, and he seemed annoyed that he had to pick her up. When I told Sayla that her father was on his way, she seemed extremely anxious and tried to convince me in a would-be-casual tone that she would make a great daughter and she 'doesn't have to stay for too long' because she 'never does anyway'. When her father arrived she seemed very anxious and quickly began telling him all of her accomplishments of the day, as if to please him because she seemed to know he was upset. I didn't know if I should contact CPS, because, as I said, she doesn't seem to be physically abused, nor neglected; she has very nice, new, expensive clothing all the time, told me she has a separate living room and bedroom to herself (unusual in our area of town, as our neighborhood is the lower-middle class section), and seems to be healthy. I'm worried about her and I don't know what to do. If her previous school records show anything then she will probably be withdrawn from school and placed somewhere else by Christmas break. So, any advice? I've tried approaching the Principal but, well, I hate to talk ill about him, but he's more worried about funding and making sure every student is standardized and doesn't do very well when things are not easily placed in a black-and-white column. So, any ideas?