Student Disruption in the Classroom



Each year we have a few students who become involved in inappropriate behavior that can be disruptive in nature. Disruptive behavior may be a series of actions that grow over several weeks, or a one-time incident. Inappropriate behavior may include but not be limited to: overly argumentative, yelling, inappropriate language, or making it difficult for other students to learn. The disruption may be directed at the instructor, or another student.

Proactive measures the instructor could take include:
·         Instructors should be clear about expectations for classroom behavior. This includes writing expectations for student behavior in to the syllabus.
·         Give students a verbal overview of your expectations, and ask the class if they have any expectations of each other.
·         Confront little disruptions right away to demonstrate to the class you are holding them to your expectations.
·         Starting the semester with a brief discussion of appropriate classroom behavior (e.g. use of cell phones) sets expectations for your particular class right from the beginning.
Responses to disruptions
v  Any time a student’s classroom behavior is threatening towards any person (including the student him/her self), notify Protective Services (x3456) or the Stevens Point Police Department (911) immediately call and the student will be removed.
v  Instructors should try to use de-escalating tone of voice and language, assertively asking the student to stop the behavior as opposed to ordering the student to stop.
v  Some disruptive behavior can be dealt with by the instructor engaging in informal conversation with the student in a private place.
v  The instructor may want to discuss the disruptive behavior with the Dean of Students Office or a counselor in the UWSP Counseling Center to discuss a plan to stop the behavior.
v  If the student continues to be disruptive:
o    Inform the student that the displayed behavior is disruptive and request the behavior to cease.
o    If the behavior continues, request the student to leave the classroom.
o    If he or she refuses to leave, Protective Services should be called to remove the student (x3456).
o    For cases of repeated, blatant and clearly irresolvable disruptive behaviors, instructors should document the situation and contact the Dean of Students Office (715-346-2611). The Dean of Student staff will consult with appropriate staff, the instructor, and the Academic Dean’s Office in determining an appropriate response, which may include initiating disciplinary proceedings.        
v  There may be situations occurring outside the classroom where instructors feel threatened or very uncomfortable with a student’s behavior. Instructors should report these situations to the Academic Deans Office, Dean of Students Office, or Protective Service so appropriate interventions can happen before the matter escalates.
v  Once a disruption occurs, it is helpful for the instructor to keep track of it, should a pattern develop. This can be simple notes kept in the office; a word document saved secure location or emails sent to one’s self.