Rules of conduct for your students, and discipline for when those rules are not followed is an integral part of learning, it teaches children that there are consequences resulting from their actions, teaches them to make proper decisions, to have self-control, and then the learned ability of self-discipline.
Understanding that God’s Word says children (and all people) have by nature a tendency to sin is pivotal to the approach of teaching, training, and disciplining children. (Jeremiah 17:9, Galatians 5:16-21, Ephesians 2, Romans 3:23 & 5:8-15). Discipline is biblical, and some Bible passages even give us a specific method and location to apply discipline: (Proverbs 10:13, 13:24, 19:18, 22:15 & 17, 23:13-14, 26:3, and 29:15). Our society has greatly changed in the acceptable methods of discipline over the past twenty years or so. Corporal punishment (physical spanking) as described in the Bible passages above are not only frowned upon in our culture these days, but some parents and possibly even schools have been charged with child abuse or similar charges as a result of properly administered spanking. Because biblical discipline is required of parents from a loving and just God, the results of not disciplining children His way are showing up in society today as alcoholism, drug abuse, crime, apathy, selfishness, disrespect for others, etc. I believe Satan has orchestrated this movement to abolish corporal punishment because he knows it is a key part of Gods plan of training children and he knows (and wants) the detrimental results the lack of this discipline has on society. As best as you can, don’t fall for Satan’s plan.
To properly train children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4), Christian schools and Home Schools need to have a set policy on discipline. I will not outline one here, because most all schools (and parents) have wrestled with this issue and have arrived at their own policy. The process of developing a policy through biblical research, prayer, and wise council, is an effort you or your school MUST go through so you can stand on that foundation with confidence, and explain it to parents and students (or your own children) confidently as well.
Never discipline in anger. Always discipline in love. Yes, doing so in love will be hard at the time, and certainly the student being disciplined at the time will have a hard time believing it is out of love, but it should be true. Hebrews 12:5-8 talks about a loving father disciplines his son, and the opposite is true also (not disciplining a child correctly shows a lack of love). The wisest man in history (Solomon) said the same thing in Proverbs 3:11-12. Then, in Hebrews 12:11 the writer says discipline is painful at the time, but if done correctly, results in “the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”
Discipline that is effective must be done from a well thought out, biblical, and firm policy, and be carried out consistently. Inconsistent discipline can be detrimental to a child, and can lead to confusion and then rebellion. Your policy, and the people responsible for carrying out the discipline per that policy, must have these biblical characteristics: justice, two-way open communication, grace, forgiveness, and love. When disciplinary action is taken toward a student, always point out and explain what God says in scripture about the offense, and the underlying sin. Remember to verify sources of the accusation and/or offense, and try to have two or three witnesses as 1 Timothy 5:19 mentions (although not specifically toward sin or accusations in students, it is a good policy to maintain).
Discipline done incorrectly can tear a student down, demoralize them, and/or possibly even turn them away from God’s Truth. When disciplining a student, make sure the offense is understood, the disciplinary action agreed to, and afterwards, reassure the student of their value, your love for them, God’s love for them, your forgiveness of the offense, and if they repented, you expect them not to repeat the offense. If need be, build them back up, because the goal is “the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it”. As you develop your policy, keep in mind the statement that discipline is an integral component of learning, of self-control, of a moral compass, of character building, of training the heart, and therefore an element of a sound Christian school.