Student Support and Advocacy

Definitions

A student is considered disruptive when he or she engages in behaviors that interfere in a significant way with your normal teaching or administrative duties as a faculty or staff member. Disruptive behavior may sometimes threaten or endanger your physical or psychological wellbeing or safety, or that of others. Disruptive behavior can assume many forms. It may be:

  • A student in your class who persistently arrives late or leaves early in a manner that is disruptive to the regular flow of the class.
  • A student who talks incessantly while you are delivering a lecture.
  • A student who loudly and frequently interrupts the flow of class with inappropriate questions or interjections.
  • A student who persistently calls your office and hampers your ability to continue your normal work, or to assist other students.
  • A student who becomes belligerent when you confront his or her inappropriate behavior.
  • A student who verbally or physically threatens you, another faculty or staff member, or another student.
  • A student who writes you a threatening letter, email, or leaves a disturbing message on your voicemail.
  • A student who attempts to contact you at your home in inappropriate ways.
  • A student who displays behaviors indicating a romantic or other obsessive interest in you.

THREE LEVELS OF THREATENING OR DISRUPTIVE BEHAVIOR

For the purposes of these guidelines, disruptive and threatening behavior has been categorized into three different levels.

  1. The first level, which is the least serious, encompasses any situation that can be handled informally between you and the student, leading to a prompt resolution.
  2. The second level involves an ongoing problem, or a more serious incident in the classroom. In these situations, you may consult with Student Affairs. If necessary, a Student Affairs assessment team will assist you in evaluating and resolving the situation.
  3. The third, and most serious, level is reached when there is immediate danger of some kind. If this occurs, you should call the Department of Public Safety immediately.