How do I handle disruptive students?
- For students who interrupt or dominate discussion, but mean no real harm,
acknowledge any productive contribution they are making, and let them know
that the class needs to move on now.
- If a student is angry or expressing negative emotions, remain calm and non-judgmental.
If you remain calm in the presence of the group, the student may settle down.
- If students are expressing themselves in a particularly emotional way on
a particular topic, validate the strength of their feelings, and gently suggest
that you need to move on, hear from other students, etc.
- If the student is agitated to the point of being unreasonable, ask them
to leave. These incidents can then be reported to Student
Conduct and Community Standards. Complaint forms should be available in your departmental
office. Some students have established a track record of being disruptive
in classes all over campus. That's why it's important to report serious offenses.
- If a student refuses to leave class, give the class a 10 minute break. Find
the nearest phone and call Public Safety (6-5444). They will dispatch an officer
as soon as possible.
- It would also be helpful for you to read the Student
Conduct Code. Disciplinary action may be initiated by the University and
sanctions imposed against any student who commits any of the prohibited forms
of conduct which include:
(a) Engaging in behavior that could reasonably be foreseen to cause disruption of, obstruction of, or interference with the process of instruction, research, administration, student discipline, or any other service or activity provided or sponsored by the University;