Disruptive or Distressed Students

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Sometimes faculty may encounter a student who appears to be troubled or distressed, or who may behave in a disruptive manner.

A disruptive student’s conduct interferes with the ability of others to learn and teach, and in extreme cases, can be dangerous.

  • If your physical safety and/or that of others is of immediate concern, contact Campus Security at 932-7013 immediately. A Campus Security officer will be dispatched to your location. You may ask the officer to remove the student from the classroom (or office). As soon as possible afterward, contact the Dean of Students to discuss the situation and any action that may be reasonable and appropriate.
  • If safety is not an immediate concern, contact the Dean of Students at 932-7472.

When dealing with disruptive behavior in the classroom, faculty may wish to consult with his/her colleagues, department chair and/or dean, or the Dean of Students for advice on handling the behavior. In many cases, the situation can be resolved without formal disciplinary proceedings. The Student Conduct Code website includes suggestions for preventing and handling disruptive behavior in the classroom.

A distressed student’s conduct generally interferes with his/her own ability to learn and be successful in a class. Signs that a student may be in distress may include behavioral changes such as becoming quieter or more aggressive or withdrawing; submitting work that deteriorates in quality; missing assignments, appointments, or classes; or performing in an erratic or disorganized manner. A distressed student might also exhibit emotional traits such as appearing confused, upset, sad, highly anxious, irritable, or demonstrating odd behavior.

Questions and advice about student behavioral and emotional issues and getting help should be directed to Counseling Services at 932-7465, located on the 2nd floor of the Student Services Building.

Updated June 2013- KO