I have a first grader who at first I thought was very sensitive, but now I think he's manipulating the situation. At the beginning of the year, he spoke no English. I'm sure that made him feel left out in many ways, but since the majority of our students are English Learners, he wasn't totally isolated. Unfortunately, he's still falling behind his peers, even those who started the year at the "no English" level. He still can not identify all of the letters and sounds, despite RTI time twice a day. A huge part of the problem is he doesn't seem to want to participate with the group. For a while, he was pointing at another student and saying she was saying mean things or bothering him. This is a student who has a mean streak and was in a competition with him for another student's friendship earlier in the year. That third student is no longer in my class, so she's no longer a factor in the social triangle drama. Even so, I've been closely watching when he and this girl he blames for everything are together. She rarely even looks at him, so while the finger pointing was truthful months ago, now it's just him trying to play me. He puts his head down and pushes his work away and blames the other student. I probably coddled him too much in the beginning and now he thinks the wounded act will continue to work. Today he poked another student with a pencil. When I moved his behavior clip down, he curled up in a ball and cried. We were on our way out to a special and he refused to get out of his chair. I tried being nice. I tried counting to three. The only thing that worked was a firm command in a slightly raised voice. I don't want to be "that" teacher, but I can't let him run the show either. I think a huge part of it is that he knows he's academically behind his peers and that bothers him. He still will not try to communicate with me, although he understands what I am saying. He's just not at that point where he wants to try out English yet. Advice? Has anyone had students who continually play victim in search of sympathy in an attempt to derail the lesson?