Disruptive Behavior and Classroom Management

According to a 2006 study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 18 – 25 year olds have one of the highest rates of severe psychological distress out of any age group, and they also have the lowest rate of seeking help. Some of the largest triggers for mental disorders are stress, lack of sleep, and change. The acceptance of the stereotypical college life, which includes these three components, often masks these mental/psychological disorders. Unfortunately, lack of sleep, stress, and change can also trigger a relapse with a previously diagnosed mental disorder or bring out a mental health issue that a person was previously unaware of.

Due to this, faculty may see various types of behaviors inside the classroom that may cause others concern. We are here to coach faculty or staff members in the event a concern about the health and safety of a student arises.

Suggestions on how to address a disruptive student (if there is no immediate threat):

  • Talk (in private) with the student about your concerns and how their behavior is impacting others in the course. You may find there are challenges the student is experiencing that are causing the behavior.
  • If you do not feel comfortable meeting with the student alone, we encourage you to involve your Department Chair, Associate Dean, or Dean.
  • Include language in your course syllabus about how you will address students who disrupt the educational process inside the classroom. Include language about how students’ behavior can have a direct impact on the course grade.
  • If a student is disruptive to the point that you are not able to effectively manage your class, you have the jurisdiction to remove the student from class. If you ask for a student to leave your class, please alert the Dean of Students Office so we are aware.

If there is an immediate or anticipated safety concern, please contact the University Police Department at 760-750-4567.

Other resources available to faculty and staff include:

  • Student Health and Counseling Services (760-750-4915)
  • Disabled Student Services (760-750-4905)
  • PASS: Personalized Academic Support Services (760-750-6056)