It was the last hour of the day when she entered the room and motioned that she needed to talk. "She" was the principle of the school and in a whispered voice indicated that she was sorry for the interruption but needed to speak to the class about a serious matter. It seems that something was stolen from the school office this morning, and she pretty much knew who the thief was but wanted verification of what she knew.
She knows that, at this age level (4th grade), kids can't keep a secret but also knew that no one wants to be known as "a snitch" that turned them in.
Instead, she had them ALL take out a piece of paper and write their name and what they "actually knew" about the incident. She emphasized the differences between "direct knowledge of an event" .vs. "heard about".
"If you don't know anything at all about the incident, then that's what you write: I don't know anything"
She then went outside and waited for me to send them out one and two at a time.
I asked her after class if the exercise yielded results. She told me the exercise verified what she already knew. The thief was would be dealt with tomorrow.
...and no, I don't know and don't need to who or anything more about the incident.