OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Disruptive Student

 

Response:

OSU Department of Public Safety Emergency: Call 737-7000

  1. When a very serious or threatening incident of disruptive behavior occurs in the classroom, academic building, or on the OSU campus, OR the behavior places anyone at immediate risk, call Public Safety Dispatch immediately.

Recovery:

  • Be prepared to be interviewed by officials
  • Contact your supervisor to seek counseling services

Mitigation:

Preparedness:

  • Review with staff and faculty how to respond to acts of violence
  • There are times when behavior is so disruptive that an immediate referral to The Office of Student Conduct and Mediation is appropriate. The term “classroom disruption” means behavior a reasonable person would view as interfering with the conduct of the class. Examples of increasing seriousness include:
    • Making distracting noises
    • Persistently speaking without being recognized
    • Repeatedly interrupting
    • Resorting to physical threats, or personal insults.
  • Learn the symptoms of a distressed student
    • Faculty and staff can play an extremely important role in referring students for help. You are frequently in a position to first observe signs of distress and, although it is not always apparent, students typically hold faculty and staff in high regard.

Signs that a student is distressed include:

  1. Excessive class absences
  2. Declining academic performance
  3. Poor emotional control
  4. Excessive moodiness
  5. Sleeping, and/or eating habits that change dramatically
  6. Excessive concern about personal health, persistent depression
  7. Talking openly about suicide
  8. Repeatedly engaging in risky behavior.
  • Learn the response to intervening to a potentially distressed student
    • A simple and straightforward expression of concern in most cases is the most powerful way of helping a student. Tell them what you have observed and that you are concerned about their well-being and their success. Explain there are services available on campus to help students get back on track when life circumstances are getting in the way. In some cases, it might be helpful to assist the student in getting touch with OSU Counseling services in Snell Hall, or call to let the office know that a student will be getting in touch with them. Assure the student that counseling services is a confidential place to discuss their concerns.
  • If you are unsure about whether or how to intervene with a student who appears to be distressed, ask yourself the following questions;
  1. Is the student’s behavior distressingly out of the ordinary?
  2. Is this beyond my skill level?
  3. Is this student’s behavior getting worse?
  4. Am I feeling like I want to talk with someone about my observations and concerns?
  5. Does the behavior place anyone at immediate risk?

If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, it is probably a good idea to consult with a Department Head. Call the University Counseling and & Psychological Services (541-737-2131), and ask to talk with the on-call counselor. If that person is not immediately available, and you do not feel you can wait, ask if someone else is available for consultation. UCPS can help you evaluate the situation and assist you in considering your options for intervention.