Faculty guide to addressing disruptive behavior

What constitutes disruptive behavior?

According to the CCBC Code of Conduct, disruptive behavior involves engaging in disorderly or disruptive conduct on college premises or at college-sponsored activities which interferes with the activities of others, including studying, teaching, research and college administration.

Examples of disruptive behavior

  • Making physical or verbal threats
  • Making loud and distracting noises
  • Answering cell phones or allowing electronic devices to beep
  • Exhibiting erratic, irrational behavior
  • Persisting in speaking without being recognized
  • Repeatedly entering and leaving a room without authorization
  • Acting in a manner which disrupts a class or administrative process

What can faculty do about disruptions?

The primary responsibility for implementing strategies to address disruptive behavior in the classroom rests with the faculty.

The following are several steps that faculty can take:
  • Include behavioral norms and expectations in the course syllabus.
  • Discuss what constitutes disruptive classroom behavior at the first meeting of the class.
  • Establish an environment in which opposing views may be expressed in a civil and respectful manner.
  • Exhibit the type of behavior you expect from the students.

Process to address disruptive behavior in the classroom

  • Address the disruptive behavior with a general comment to all students and/or follow up with the individual student in private after class.
  • Ask the student to stop the disruptive behavior and warn that further disruption may result in disciplinary action.
  • If the student continues to be disruptive, ask the student to leave the class for the remainder of the class period and to meet with you before returning to class. At this point, inform the Department Chairperson/Coordinator and Student Conduct Advocate that their assistance may be requested.
Longer suspensions from a class, or dismissal on disciplinary grounds, must be proceeded by a hearing or disciplinary conference, as addressed in section 19 of the Code of Conduct.

The Office of Student Conduct will investigate further, if necessary, and refer the student for a disciplinary conference or to a hearing board.