Teachers in South African schools battle with problems in learner discipline. Research indicates that teachers are at a loss as to handling these situations. The aim of this article is to survey incidents of serious learner misconduct in a representative selection of education systems abroad to extract any guidelines that might be applicable to South African schools. Eight education systems were surveyed: Brazil, England, Turkey, Singapore, Malaysia, China, Australia and New Zealand. The international systems surveyed in this article developed promising models, namely the National Safe Schools Framework (NSSF) in Australia, the Response Early Intervention and Assessment Community Health (REACH) programme in Singapore, the National Education Plan in the state of São Paolo, Brazil, and the two models in the category of positive disciplinary approaches in New Zealand, namely the Respectful Schools: Restorative Practices in Education and the New Zealand Minister of Education’s Positive Behaviour for [a] Learning Action Plan. A study of these international practices and underlying principles for dealing with discipline in pedagogical situations (Christian or secular) could provide guidelines for South African teachers and education authorities.