Disruptive Students

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Disruptive behavior is behavior that interferes with the instruction of classroom activities, including any behavior that disrupts or intimidates others within the classroom. Disruptive behavior in the classroom is covered in the Student Conduct Code and may include, but is not limited to the following policies; Section 2.6.3. - Failure to Comply, Section 2.3.5. - Harassment, and Section 2.5.5. – Disorderly Conduct.  Please refer to the Student Conduct Code for the specific policies.

In order to address disruptive behavior in the classroom, it is important to set expectations for proper classroom behavior at the beginning of the semester.  Specific expectations may be included in the course syllabus.  It is also important to inform students that disruptive behavior is not acceptable and will be referred to the office of Student Rights and Responsibilities.

The following list outlines the actions you should take in addressing disruptive behavior.

  1. When disruptive behavior occurs within the classroom, it is best to address the entire class, rather than the individual student.  In doing so, the instructor should remind the class of the expectations set out in the syllabus.
  2. If a specific student needs to be addressed regarding their disruptive behavior, it should be done after class. If a student’s behavior needs to be addressed during class, ask the student to stop their current behavior and to speak with you after class, or during office hours.
  3. When discussing the behavior with the student, you should inform the student of the specific behavior that is being addressed.  In addition, you should remind the student of the classroom expectations, as well as the expectations for future classroom behavior.
  4. After meeting with the student, you should follow up with an e-mail regarding the incident, as well as the information discussed during the meeting.  You may also share this information with your department chair, or the dean of your college.  In addition, it is helpful to document any incidents regarding disruptive behavior in the event that the behavior continues.
  5. If the behavior continues after it has been addressed, you may refer the student to Student Rights and Responsibilities.  For information on how to refer a student to Student Rights and Responsibilities, please click the “Refer a Student” tab in the left hand menu.