It sounds to me as if your son really, really, REALLY does not want to go to school. I have to wonder why. You say it's not because of bullying this year, but that doesn't mean there isn't something else going on to make him want to stay at home. (Or that the bullying isn't still continuing, and he just isn't telling you about it for whatever reason.) It might be worth your while to talk to his teacher and principal to find out what's going on in the classroom and on the playground. Better yet, talk to your son sometime when you're NOT trying to get him to go to school - maybe on a weekend, or an afternoon. Try talking to him just before bed, when it's dark, or in the car, so he doesn't have to look at you while he talks (and you don't have to look at him). Sometimes that can help with the confession, so to speak. It also sounds as if you may have a move in your future; this might be an excellent time to change schools. Depending on your son's age, you might want to get his opinion in on this, particularly since a move would land him in a different school zone. He may have an opinion about which school he'd prefer to attend. Something else to consider; you say you're widowed, but you don't say when. If it was fairly recently, your son may be still dealing with the loss of his father. Grief comes out in a gazillion ways. This might be one of his ways of handling it. I'm sorry for your loss, and for his. Good luck with school and your possible move.