Discipline at School, Where Do You Stand?

As a parent, I understand the need for discipline and have used many techniques in the past. I have yelled, screamed, taken things away, and given time outs, depending on the situation.

I always try to make sure the punishment fits the crime and that it becomes a learning experience rather than a power trip. I have taught my daughter that if she is good, she gets rewarded, if she is bad, she gets punished.

Seems simple enough to me.

Discipline at School

When I send my daughter to school, I know that it is up to the staff to care for her and since she is very well behaved, I never had to worry about her being disciplined away from home.

Every school has a group of kids that get into trouble regularly, the staff knows who these kids are and involved parents who spend time at their kids schools are also well aware. They frequently roam the halls throughout the day, talk during quiet time and much worse like talk back to the teachers, get into fights, and pick on other kids.

These behavioral issues need to be addressed, they are a distraction from learning and it needs to be stopped.

Teachers have every right to deal with these issues and punish the offenders but how they implement the punishment is directly related to the future behavior of these same offenders.

My daughter is in fifth grade and in her school, much like every other school in America, there are quite a bit of trouble makers who can’t seem to sit still or stay quiet when prompted to.


During lunchtime when the kids get too loud, the staff asks them to quiet down and raise their hand to signal their compliance. Once the kids quiet down with their hands raised, they are able to line up and head out to recess to burn off some energy.

If the children do not quiet down, even if it is just the same repeat offenders causing the ruckus , the entire fifth grade is not allowed to have recess that day. They instead have to sit quietly in the lunchroom until their time is up and head back to class.

There is no accountability for the kids who were the rule breakers causing the trouble and now they get to bring everyone down with them. This is rewarding the rule breakers behavior, misery loves company and now they will not be singled out and they get to hang out with the kids who would have normally been outside having fun. Not to mention these kids may need that time to burn off that energy that is causing them to act out in the first place. 

The good kids are now being taught that it doesn’t matter if you follow the rules and do what you are supposed to do, your behavior will not be rewarded. Instead of giving the kids time to burn off all of the energy on the playground they are now being held inside, angered by the situation, this seems like the perfect recipe to create even more rule breakers.

What are your thoughts on the entire grade being punished because of a group of rule breakers? Have your kids been punished at school for things they have never done? Leave a comment below with your thoughts, I am interested to hear them.







  1. Robin+Rue+(@massholemommy) says:

    Our schools are the same. If a few repeat offenders act up at lunch, they ALL get punished. I feel bad for the kids behaving, but I also get it why they do it.

  2. I have to agree there should be accountability for the misbheaving children. I remember our entire class being kept in during recess because some kids were misbehaving or hadn’t done their homework or whatever. This way, to be honest, the school is encourageing kids to pick on the offenders and that will create a worse atmosphere.

  3. I think that is ridiculous! I understand what they are trying to do, but that will bring kids to bully each other honestly. I think you deal with the trouble makers and let the others have rewards for doing good. Either they will get to they won’t either way, why should my kid, who is not a trouble maker, have a punishment for something he didn’t do.

  4. I don’t agree with group punishments. Maybe they’re trying to do something to help overall, but I think it’s the wrong way to go.

  5. This is crazy. I don’t see the reason why the kids who are behaving well will be punished as well. With this system, they are just showing the kids that those who misbehave, don’t need to be good because they will also be punished anyway.

  6. I trust the school that my children go to, I also attended and was the first graduating 8th grade class when they went from an elementary school to a K8 school. However, as far as little disciplines like no recess, silent lunches (which is what they do at my children’s school), etc. I don’t have an issue with it. What I would have an issue with is physical touch and verbal abuse. Do not scream at my child, scream directly in their face or touch them unless absolutely necessary. The students are to keep their hands to themselves so the staff should as well no matter what. but my children do not act up in school, they have proper parenting at home.

  7. Last year my oldest had a few trouble makers in her class and they always had the entire class in trouble. I don’t think that was fair. I believe these kids should be held accountable for their behavior and the rest of the class shouldn’t have to suffer.

  8. It’s tough to see them addressing the problems like that. If emotional issues are what’s causing some of the children to act out then punishing them along with other kids won’t solve anything.

  9. I agree that schools need to be harsher on those who don’t follow the rules. They are too scared to not be deemed as cool or popular. We need order restored!

  10. Our school is not like that. If one person is out of line, that person stays in at recess, not the whole class!

  11. Michele+D says:

    This upsets me because it’s happened to my children in their school. I don’t understand why a teacher or school must discipline a whole class when it’s only one child that is causing a problem. Not fair for the kids that follow the rules.

  12. I think it’s unfair for those who are disciplined and just are quiet. Good students should be rewarded and bad students should be the only ones that are punished. If we apply the same poor concept in the society, a lot of people will surely get mad at the administration.

  13. It’s very interesting to see the differences in schools since I was in middle/high school – just four years ago I graduated from high school and my younger sister who is still in the school always is telling me things that I see SO many differences in. Interesting to think about and a great read!

  14. Rule breakers were NOT the norm when I went to school. I wish that was still true today.

  15. As a kid I got swats from the principal on a semi-regular basis, and had to stay after school on a few days. I don’t have a problem with silent lunches, or even the loss of privileges for a group based on several bad actors. The school policies are developed by professionals and I trust that their training is sufficient to address the issue. There is always gym class to burn off that energy!

  16. I don’t think an entire class should be punished for what a couple kids did,but I have seen that happen before and it’s actually effective because then the kids realize how their actions not only effect themselves but the others around them. I am all for discipline at school.

  17. My children are homeschooled but at one time my oldest was in public school. I think that there are both advantages and disadvantages to certain behavioral consequences in school these days.

  18. I have so much to say about this, but I don’t want to rant on your post. My son has been getting “behavioral notes” because he doesn’t understand the concepts in class. Last night I was so mad about it all that I had to get my husband involved. He was much calmer than I was, but we both feel like we need to meet with my son’s teacher again.

    • Feel free to rant away! lol It is very frustrating and thankfully our husbands can be a little calmer in these situations. I lose my mind sometimes when I feel my child is treated unfairly. I hope you are able to come to a solution with the teacher.

  19. Rebecca Swenor says:

    I have never looked at it like that before about why the other kids should be punished because of the rule breakers. The only I had an experience like that was when I was in boot camp but it was showing us team work. I don’t think it should be used in schools in this way though.

  20. I don’t agree with that method of punishment. I do believe that repeat offenders should have school counseling and possibly temporarily be placed in a separate room, because there might be an underlying reason (e.g. being abused or not getting enough attention at home) why these children are acting a certain way. Treating children like criminals can possibly lead them into actual criminals someday.

  21. Honestly, since we got here in the US, my son was never punished in school nor was he punished for things that he had not done.

  22. When my kids were in school there were always the trouble kids. I never understood why they were allowed to continue to break the rules and still be allowed in the school.

  23. My daughter’s elementary school did the same thing. If a few weer loud and behaving badly, the entire grade had silent lunch. This doesn’t punish the bully or the trouble maker in any way.

  24. I don’t think that everyone should be punished because of one person doing something wrong or because of a group doing wrong. I think those that did wrong should be punished. My girls are only 5 and 6, so they haven’t gotten in trouble for anything. I wouldn’t want them getting in trouble for something someone else did.

  25. This, I do not agree with, it’s teaching kids that it doesn’t matter if you’re good or bad, if you work hard or don’t work at all, everyone gets treated the same – that is not okay and ironically seems very similar to the same stance our government has taken on some things lately…weird…

  26. My son currently goes to a special education preschool and a UPK( universal pre-k) school. The punishments are given to only the parties involved and it’s time outs and also he loses a sticker and doesn’t get to choose from a prize box. When he’s older I’m sure I will be at the school since he has behavior problems from his ASD and SPD. My son wouldn’t understand being punished because of his friends if he didn’t do anything wrong.

  27. Krystal+Anne says:

    This is way closer to reality than you would think. In some places because some boys have been picked on for the way they dress or what they like… they are aloud to share a locker room with girls, you just don’t do that!!!

  28. OK, so I know this was awhile ago but this resonates with me. My daughter is a well behaved individual and I spend time in the class so I see who’s the trouble maker. Yesterday the class got in trouble because the one child who struggles with authority decided to start picking on kids and those kids in turn stuck up for each other, as we should TEACH OUR CHILDREN!!!! The noise level got out of control and the teacher kept them all inside for their last 10 minute recess of the day. I was furious!!!! The noise level got out of hand because of a positive situation! Those kids should have been rewarded for showing their support for the students who were being picked on, NOT PUNISHED!!!!! I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to question his methods but now as I read your post I have to consider writing an email so those kids who stuck up for each other are rewarded for their behavior! I’m furious all over again because I feel like I should have done something yesterday. I’m proud of the kids who stood up to this notorious bully!!!!

    • I am happy to hear that what I wrote resonated with you. I get a little ticked off when my daughter who is also a well behaved student gets punished while the kids who are always acting up rarely get punished. I can see your frustration with the situation as well and wish you the best of luck in writing that email! I never understood how teachers think taking recess away is going to do anything other than make kids act up more…they need to burn off that energy. Plus the most obvious point like you had mentioned, they shouldn’t all be punished for it!

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