Should I contact the parents of the kid my son bullied?
Last week my 11 yo DS scratched another boy's hand with a spork at lunch. The other boy's mother was concerned that her son was being bullied and called the school. Before last week, I had never heard of the other kid ("MJ"), but my son said that this is someone he sits with at lunch, that they were just playing around, and that the other kid has sometimes poked him with a pencil, thrown stuff at him, etc.
I know boys play around like that, but I felt that my ds's behavior was unacceptable (especially at school!), and told the asst principal not to go easy but to just dole out whatever punishment is customary (which was a 1-day out-of-school suspension). That day, I had ds detail my van, do 5 loads of laundry, walk the dog, and clean out the freezer and refrigerator (to be sure that he understood it was not a vacation day). When ds returned to school, he and "MJ" had a meeting with the asst principal. So, feeling that he had paid his dues, I resolved to say no more about it.
However, (you knew this was coming, right?) yesterday my neighborhood friend (whose son is ds's friend) and I were out walking our dogs, and she mentioned that "MJ" had been over to their house to play with her son. "MJ"'s mother mentioned that "MJ"'s father is being deployed soon, and that she wasn't sure what to do with "MJ" after school while she is at work. So my friend, who works part time and is home after school, offered to watch "MJ" after school for the rest of the year.
Since now ds and "MJ" will be riding the same bus, and because ds frequently goes to play with his friend (where "MJ" will be), I am wondering whether I should contact "MJ"'s mother, just to reassure her that I'll be keeping an eye on the situation? There is a group of boys who picked on ds last year, and I think I would feel uncomfortable if I knew he was riding their bus and staying at a house in their neighborhood. I don't want to stir the pot, and I know "MJ"'s mother knows where we live (because my friend told her that ds and her son had been friends since 1st grade) - just looking for some feedback.