Each year we have a few students who become involved in inappropriate behavior that can be disruptive
in nature. Disruptive behavior may be a series of actions that grow over several weeks, or a one time
incident. Inappropriate behavior may include but not be limited to: overly argumentative, yelling,
inappropriate language, or making it difficult for other students to learn. The disruption may be
directed at the instructor, or another student.
Proactive measures the instructor could take include:
Responses to disruptions
- Instructors should be clear about expectations for classroom behavior. This includes writing expectations
for student behavior in to the syllabus.
- Give students a verbal overview of your expectations, and ask the class if they have any
expectations of each other.
- Confront little disruptions right away to demonstrate to the class you are holding them to your
- Starting the semester with a brief discussion of appropriate classroom behavior (e.g. use of
cell phones) sets expectations for your particular class right from the beginning.
- Any time a studentís classroom behavior is threatening towards any person (including the student
him/her self), notify Public Safety immediately call 911 (or 9-911 from a campus phone) and the
student will be removed.
- Instructors should try to use de-escalating tone of voice and language, assertively asking the student
to stop the behavior as opposed to ordering the student to stop.
- Some disruptive behavior can be dealt with by the instructor engaging in informal conversation with
the student in a private place.
- The instructor may want to discuss the disruptive behavior with a counselor in Counseling
and Health Services (consultation services link) and jointly discuss a plan to stop the behavior.
- If the student continues to be disruptive:
- Inform the student that the displayed behavior is disruptive and request the behavior to cease.
- If the behavior continues, request the student to leave the classroom.
- If he or she refuses to leave, Public Safety should be called to remove the student (465-2300
and press 1).
- For cases of repeated, blatant and clearly irresolvable disruptive behaviors, instructors should
document the situation and contact the Dean of Students Office 465-2152. The Dean of Student staff
will consult with appropriate staff, the instructor, and the Academic Deanís Office in determining an
appropriate response, which may include initiating disciplinary proceedings.
- There may be situations occurring outside the classroom where instructors feel threatened or very
uncomfortable with a studentís behavior. Instructors should report these situations to the Academic
Deans Office, Dean of Students Office, or Public Safety Office so appropriate interventions can happen
before the matter escalates. Counseling Services is also available to assist students with Crisis
- Once a disruption occurs, it is helpful for the instructor to keep track of it, should a pattern
develop. This can be simple notes kept in the Office, a word document saved secure location or emails
sent to oneís self.
- Responding To Disruptive Students (ppt presentation)