Dealing with Disruptive Behavior

What is disruptive behavior?

Disruptive behavior can include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Verbal abuse
  • Physical abuse or threats
  • Willful damage to personal or college property
  • Use of drugs and alcohol on college premises
  • Inordinate demands for time and attention
  • Harassment
  • Disruption of a classroom, administrative or campus activity

The disruptive student is one who, through his/her behavior or attitude, interferes with academic or administrative activity on campus. Generally, through appropriate due process procedures, institutional disciplinary measures shall be imposed for conduct which adversely affects the institution's pursuit of its educational objectives, which violates or shows a disregard for the rights of other members of the academic community, or which endangers property or person on institution or institution-controlled property. Disciplinary action is taken on the basis of explicit behavior or attitude which is in violation of the Student Conduct & Disciplinary Sanctions policy (VSCC Policy III:00:05), regardless of the cause.

What action should you take if you encounter disruptive behavior?

Disruptions which are minor annoyances and non-threatening are expected to cease upon the first request. Repeated behavior will be handled according to the guidelines set forth in the Student Conduct & Disciplinary Sanctions policy. Note: These guidelines are applicable to the classroom or to any administrative or campus-related activity.

Inform the disruptive student:

  • Of the appropriate standard of behavior
  • That the disruptive behavior will not be tolerated because it is interfering with the educational process or functioning of a campus activity or depriving others of the right to learn, the right to service, and/or the right to feel safe
  • That he or she will be reported to the Vice President for Student Services if the behavior continues. This verbal notice must be followed up in writing with a copy given to the student at the next class meeting. The Division Dean should be notified in cases of hostile and/or aggressive behavior or in cases of continual disruptive behavior.

If the behavior continues:

  • You have the right to ask the student to leave your class temporarily. The student should be referred to the Office of the Vice President for Student Services.
  • If the student refuses to vacate the premises, call Campus Police for assistance at extension 3595.

It is important that incidents of disruptive behavior be reported so that the College can monitor and utilize appropriate intervention to minimize the occurrences of disruptive behavior. When referring or reporting disruptive behavior, be specific, concise and describe observable behavior. Do not speculate on reasons for the student's behavior (i.e. your assessment of a possible medical diagnosis or your own unofficial psychological evaluation). All verbal reports must be followed up in writing.