CDS - Dealing with Disruptive Students

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If you are dealing with a disruptive student who is working with the Center for Disability Services office, please keep in mind that we are here for you as much as for the student. We are available to facilitate or mediate meetings and communication between faculty members and students. Please contact us at extension 9272 to discuss any difficulties you are experiencing, or if you need assistance.

All staff should be familiar with the Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities, available from the Student Activities Resource Center, Vice President for Student Services’ Office or Enrollment Services and published on the College’s website and in the annual Student Handbook. These guidelines are also available on the S-drive under Student Services (Disruptive Students). Following are definitions and procedures.

Definition

Disruptive behavior is behavior that interferes with the learning and teaching environment and/or administrative or student services functions of the College.

Examples

  • Verbally intimidating, threatening or abusing any person or persons.
  • Physically intimidating, threatening, abusing or assaulting others.
  • Theft or damage to college property.
  • Use, possession, distribution of illegal or controlled substances on college grounds.
  • Interfering with the learning and/or environment by disruptive behavior or lewd or indecent expressions or conduct as defined by law.
  • Making inappropriate demands for time and attention from faculty, staff and/or students.

Removal of a Disruptive Student from the Classroom Environment or College Facilities

An instructor may remove a disruptive student from the classroom on a daily basis by saying to the student that a specified behavior is inappropriate and then requesting the student to leave (if help is needed, the instructor should call Security extension x9998 or 9990). The student is free to return to class the next day. In an online class, instructors may block the student from the ANGEL classroom for a 24 hour period. Faculty must remove the block after 24 hours. Directions for ANGEL are provided at the end of this document. Legally, unless there is imminent physical danger to the student or others, the student cannot be dropped from class without due process.

If the safety of the student or others is jeopardized, the student can be summarily suspended by the Vice President for Student Services or his/her designee until disciplinary proceedings can be completed. During this time period, the Vice President for Student Services or his/her designee will investigate the situation and determine an appropriate course of action regarding whether or not the student can return to class and/or impose other disciplinary action.

Any college administrator or security personnel member may remove a disruptive student from college facilities.

Recommended Procedures

  1. Take the student aside, describe the inappropriate behavior, being specific about expected behavior, and tell him/her it must stop. In an online class, the instructor should contact the student individually by phone or through email. If the unacceptable behavior does not stop, the student should be asked to leave by the instructor if in a classroom or by administrator or security personnel if elsewhere on campus.
  2. Immediately write an anecdotal description including date, time, a specific description of the behavior, and your conversation with the student. If you have contacted the student by email, attach a copy of that message to your description of the incident. This documentation is necessary should the behavior continue and disciplinary action be needed.
  3. If possible, encourage the student to confer with a counselor in the Counseling, Advising and Career Center. If you wish, consult with a counselor (whether or not the student agrees to see one) on what records to keep and how to approach the student. The counselors can be very helpful to you in dealing with disruptive behavior.
  4. If you think the disruptive behavior might continue, consider writing a contract with the student. The essential elements are as follows:
    1. Description of the specific inappropriate behavior(s) and clear identification of your behavioral expectations.
    2. Clear statement of the consequences (i.e., student cannot continue in class if described behavior(s) continue and will be required to meet with the Vice President for Student Services).
    3. Provide space for student's and instructor's signatures. You may also elect to provide a copy to your supervisor and/or the Vice President for Student Services.
    4. Have two copies ready - one each for the student and instructor

      Note: The student cannot be required to sign the contract. If he/she chooses not to sign it, hand deliver it and send it by regular mail to the student. The contract is then considered a notification and serves the same purpose.

  5. If the disruptive behavior continues, remove the student (call Safety and Security at extension 9998 or 9990 if necessary). For online classes, faculty should block the student from their Canvas classroom and advise the student by email and/or phone that he/she has been removed from the Canvas class. Notify the eLearning office that the student has been removed. Notify the Office of the Vice President for Student Services or his/her designee if it seems timely for the Vice President for Student Services to meet with the student and/or begin initial disciplinary procedures.

Hybrid classes: Faculty teaching hybrid classes should use their own discretion in removing a student from on-campus classrooms and/or in restricting their access to Canvas. If a student, for example, exhibits disruptive behavior in an online discussion group, you may wish to remove him or her from the Canvas class for a 24 hour period as described above for online classes.

Instructions to make a Canvas course unavailable to a student:

For assistance with Canvas, contact the eLearning Office at 425-388-9367.

If you have any questions or would like assistance at any time during such a process, call the Center for Disability Services at 425-388-9272, or the Office of the Vice President for Student Services at 425-388-9588 or 425-388-9589.