Chocolate Bribe Angers Dentists, Delights Schoolchildren

Discipline Problems Down, Test Scores Up

A U.K. principal’s unusual plan to motivate students may have raised the wrath of the British Dental Association, but it seems to be working.

Three years ago, Andrew Sheppard grew frustrated with discipline problems at Norfolk’s Recastle Furze Primary School. He decided that the school’s 240 pupils would be rewarded for good behavior with chocolate bars.

The school hasn’t had a single suspension in the past three years. In addition, test scores have gotten higher. The rewards program has been expanded to include a Christmas dance, Easter eggs, and barbecues.

“I feel vindicated,” said Dr. Sheppard. “A 40-pence bar of chocolate is not going to make children obese or rot their teeth. It is providing them with an incentive that they value. Some people said that I should give them a carrot instead, but they are not donkeys.”

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