Help! I’m Tired of Disruptive Kids Coming Back From the Principal’s Office With Candy


Disruptive students in the classroom have been a common challenge for teachers for decades. However, a new problematic trend has emerged – these difficult students are sent to the principal’s office and often return with candy as a reward. This phenomenon raises concerns not only about the effectiveness of the current disciplinary strategies but also about the message being transmitted to both disruptive and well-behaved kids.

The Problem at Hand

Sending a disruptive student to the principal’s office is meant to serve as a corrective measure, an opportunity for the child to reflect on their attitude and behavior. When they come back with candy, various negative consequences arise:

  1. It undermines teacher authority: Students will perceive that there are no real consequences for their misconduct since they receive a treat instead of punishment.
  2. It can incentivize bad behavior: Some students may act out purposefully, believing that poor behavior will get them free candy.
  3. It is unfair to well-behaved kids: Hard-working and respectful students may feel neglected or undervalued when they see disruptive ones getting rewarded.

Addressing Root Causes

To counter this problematic trend, schools need to re-evaluate their disciplinary approaches. Here are some suggestions:

1. Train teachers in classroom management techniques: Provide ongoing professional development opportunities for educators on effective strategies to handle difficult behaviors and foster a positive learning environment.

2. Encourage communication between teachers and administrators: Ensure that school staff is on board with uniform disciplinary policies and implement them consistently.

3. Implement alternatives to traditional punishment methods: Consider applying techniques such as restorative practices that focus on fostering relationships, building empathy, and repairing harm done, over punitive measures that may further alienate problematic students.

4. Reward good behavior: Acknowledge well-behaved students by implementing reward systems that recognize academic achievements, kindness, or helpfulness.


Addressing the issue of disruptive kids coming back from the principal’s office with candy requires a united and proactive approach on behalf of teachers, parents, and school administrators. By re-examining the disciplinary methods in place and adopting alternatives that promote better communication and decision-making, it’s possible to discourage disruptive behavior, create a fair environment for all students, and maintain a positive school climate.

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