November 28, 2022

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Beyond The Infraction

Beyond the Infraction® is a simple but powerful intervention program for elementary and secondary-level students which helps them learn from poor choices. These infraction-specific tools were created by and for educators.

As a former practitioner, I always wanted each encounter with discipline to be a learning experience. These tools have that potential. I like the structure very much.

Mary Anne Hoppe

These tools are conversational in tone and directed to students for self-paced reflection and written interaction. This intervention allows students to engage cognitively about the infraction, not to activate guilt or shame, but for the purpose of:

  • Reflection and cool down
  • Accessing executive functioning and self-regulatory skills
  • Activating abstractions about the event
  • Activating moral reasoning
  • Using a trial-and-error process to self-correct
  • Diminishing emotional reactivity


Each worksheet is divided into component sections which represent a continuum of metacognition that leads the student 1) through the emotional and immediate reaction to the incident, and 2) toward essential perspective taking, abstraction, and planning for future actions.

The components of each of the elementary-level worksheets are:

  • Thinking About Your Choice - First we provide an introduction to the action that led to the infraction. The student then answers questions that describe what happened and how he or she is feeling about the incident. Further questions ask about consequences, how the student might have made a wiser choice, and what needs to happen next.

  • Making It Right – Next, the student is asked to think about who was hurt by his or her wrong choice, accept responsibility, and then perhaps apologize and/or make amends.

  • Going Forward – This section repeats the rule and the reason for rule. It also offers alternative ways to behave that will reap better results.

  • Commitment – The student is then asked for a signature which symbolizes their promise to think about the consequences of their choices before repeating the action.

  • Imagine This – This section engages higher-order thinking by providing an imaginary short scenario involving the student and asks the student to apply the rule identified in the previous section. This is designed to further develop the ability to see cause-effect relationships without the specific details of the current problem.

The components of each of the secondary-level worksheets are:

  • Glossary – The glossary introduces the vocabulary that will be encountered in each worksheet. This component has a dual purpose: to enhance metacognition by providing words that describe situations and complex feelings, and to emphasize the concept of empathy, an essential element in perspective taking which asks the reader to focus on others as a means to activate moral reasoning and to apply the principle of the Golden Rule.

  • Reflecting on Your Choice – This section presents an introduction to the action that led to the infraction and asks the student to answer questions in writing that describe what happened and how the student is feeling about the incident. Further questions ask the student to identify the rule and consider the choice in abstract terms of right and wrong.

  • Imagine This – This section engages higher-order thinking by providing an imaginary short scenario involving the student and asks the student to apply the rule identified in the previous section. This is designed to further develop the ability to see cause-effect relationships without the specific details of the current problem.
  • Making Amends – This very important section asks the student to answer questions in writing about repairing relationships, restitution, and empathy for the victim(s) of the wrong choice. The text makes a statement which supports the student in summoning the courage to take the risk of accepting the consequences of their actions and seeking to re-enter school life.

  • Moving Forward – This section repeats the rule and the reason for rule. It also offers alternatives to rule violations. This acknowledges the student’s feelings and opinions and suggests appropriate means to meet their needs.

  • Commitment – Finally, the student is asked for a signature which symbolizes their promise to think about the consequences of their choices before repeating the action.