In their response to the recent Senate inquiry into challenging student behaviour in Australian schools, Glenda McGregor and Martin Mills highlight the need for a more nuanced approach to addressing these issues. They acknowledge that schools are workplaces where safety should be a priority, but they also point out that the recommendations of the inquiry, particularly those focusing on initial teacher education (ITE) and classroom management, miss the mark. McGregor and Mills argue that the inquiry’s emphasis on ‘explicit instruction’ and traditional classroom structures overlooks the complex socio-economic and social factors contributing to disruptive behaviours. They advocate for a more holistic approach that includes cognitive and emotional engagement, respect for students’ diverse needs, and a focus on meaningful learning experiences. The authors also express concerns about the proposed National Unique Student Identifier, viewing it as an infringement on students’ rights. They stress the importance of addressing broader societal issues, such as gender-based violence and discrimination, within school programs and curricula. Overall, McGregor and Mills call for diverse, relational, and pastoral approaches to student behaviour, supported by a breadth of educational research, rather than a one-size-fits-all solution.