Two female students listening in class
Magnolia Avenue students talking on campus
Male nursing student listening in class

Frequently Asked Questions About Student Conduct by Faculty

 
  What is the Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT)?

The Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT) is a tool to assist in providing a safe academic environment for faculty, staff and students. Representing a cross section of college departments, the BIT is not punitive and is not a disciplinary board but rather serves as the central point of contact for threat assessments. The team responds to reports of disruptive, problematic or concerning behavior or misconduct; conducts an investigation; performs a threat assessment; and determines the best mechanisms for support, intervention, warning/notification and response. The team then deploys college resources and resources of the community and coordinates follow-up. The team also identifies patterns of concerns for a student or group of students across all campuses.

When do I refer students to the BIT?

If danger is imminent, always call Security, 694-6649 or 9-911.

If you are concerned about a potentially risky or dangerous behavior by a person to him/herself or others, you can contact the BIT. Some examples include:

  • Extreme verbal or written harassment or threats;
  • Extremes, or changes in, appearance such as looking disheveled, disoriented, extreme low energy or apathetic;
  • Disturbing writings or talking about suicide, violence in their past or future, obsessions with harming or violence;
  • Signs of paranoia or making references that are not germane to the topic or not related to the situational context;
  • Under the influence of drugs/alcohol.

What happens after I contact the BIT?

The team responds to reports of disruptive, problematic or concerning behavior or misconduct, conducts an investigation, performs a threat assessment, and determines the best mechanisms for support, intervention, warning/notification and response. The team then deploys college resources and/or resources of the community and coordinates follow-up. The team also identifies patterns of concerns for a student or group of students across all campuses. It is helpful to provide written documentation and evidence such as emails, messages, etc. when contacting the BIT.

Can I remain anonymous when reporting someone to the BIT?

Anonymous reports will be investigated as best as possible given the information provided. However, it is vital that the BIT be able to communicate and follow up with the person reporting should additional information be needed to complete the assessment. Contact the dean of students or director of safety and security if you have concerns about confidentiality.

What can I do if a student is disruptive in class?

Refer to the “Guide for Disruptive Behavior in the Classroom” and the resources section of the Student Conduct website for strategies. You can also talk with colleagues about how they have handled similar situations.

 How do I confront the student’s behavior in a private conversation?

There are many resources for talking with people whose behavior is not appropriate or not “okay” with you. Refer to the Resources section of the Student Conduct website. The following example can be used as a conversation guide:

  • Clearly state your behavior expectations and consequences/sanctions for noncompliance.  (This is a reminder of behavior expectations from your syllabus)
  • Be specific about the behavior that is disruptive and how it impacts others.
  • Listen to student’s response(s) and take notes. Ask, “Anything else?” Repeat as necessary until student confirms they are done.
  • Summarize the student’s perspective.
  • Restate how the behavior impacts the student’s learning and others.
  • Acknowledge student’s strength(s) and your support for their success.
  • Offer resources for academic skills and life issues.
  • Clearly explain the specific sanction for this event and expected consequence if behavior continues.
  • Ask for an agreement/commitment from the student that the behavior will not continue.

 What can I do if a student is raging at me?

Stay calm and do not raise your voice to their level. Look the person in the eye and say, “I understand that you are upset/angry. I want to help you but it’s not okay with me that you are _____ (state the specific objectionable behavior, e.g. yelling, cursing, interrupting, etc.) If you’ll _____ (be specific in stating an appropriate behavior, e.g. lower your voice, stop cursing, interrupting, etc.) we can discuss the situation and work to find a solution. If you don’t you will need to leave or I will call security.”

 When can I tell a student to leave my class?

You have the responsibility to maintain an environment conducive to learning by all students and you have the right to tell the student to leave if the behavior continues after the student was told to stop. Clearly state your behavior expectations when you first notice the inappropriate behavior and if the behavior continues, tell him or her to leave class and to see you at an arranged time or to see the appropriate dean. Refer to the Resources section of the Student Conduct and Counseling Services websites for more examples.

 How do I tell a student to leave my class?

Here’s one example: “Joe, your repeated texting (or specific behavior) is disrupting class. You have been told several times to put your cell phone away. Leave class now and see the dean before you return.” Upon his refusal, you could initiate a class break and tell Joe that Security will be called unless he leaves. Be sure to contact the dean with background information and/or documentation records.

What will happen to a student when I refer him/her to the dean of students?

The goal of a behavior intervention is for the student to identify their purpose for being in college; accept responsibility for his/her inappropriate behavior, be accountable to the community for his/her actions and choose different behavior/s so that the student can be successful in college. Often an educational sanction will be imposed that will assist the student to be a contributing and productive member of the college community.

 For policy 04:02:00 violations pertaining to student conduct, the student will be notified of the alleged violation and given the opportunity to decide how the case will be adjudicated. If the student is found to be in violation, appropriate sanctions will be imposed. Refer to Disciplinary Sanctions Policy 04:02:00.  for a complete list of sanctions.

 When and how do I refer students to the counseling office?

Counselors welcome the opportunity to consult with faculty and staff anytime about student issues or concerns. When making a referral, please review the Counseling Services website for suggestions. 

 What can I do about a student with an accommodation plan who continually disrupts class?

All students, including those with accommodations, are required to comply with regulations set forth in the Academic and Classroom Conduct policy 04.02.00.  If you are seeing a pattern of disruptive behavior, talk privately with the student first and if the behavior continues, consult with the Student Services for Students with Disabilities staff member on the accommodation plan, the dean of students or the appropriate dean.

When and how do I document an incident?

Written documentation includes description of what happened, what was said, when it happened, who was involved, and what action was taken. Write objectively and give a factual accounting of what happened in a non-judgmental manner. It is important to refrain from inserting personal analysis, opinions or conclusions about the student’s character. See Student Conduct Resources section for examples.

What should I do if I feel threatened or intimidated by a student’s behavior?

If danger is imminent, always call Security, 694-6649 or 9-911.

A warning is not necessary before directing a student to leave if the student is engaging in violent or unsafe behavior – throwing books, coming to class intoxicated, or threatening physical harm, etc. If the student does not leave, dismiss class and call security. Document the incident and report it to the BIT.

What should I do if a student complains to me about another student stalking or harassing him/her?

Questions or concerns about harassment or discrimination based on race, color, religion, ethnic or national origin, sex, sexual orientation or gender identity, disability, age or status as a covered veteran should be directed to the executive director, Human Resources and Affirmative Action, 694-6607. 

What should I do if a student complains that a college employee is sexually harassing him or her?

Questions or concerns about harassment or discrimination based on race, color, religion, ethnic or national origin, sex, sexual orientation or gender identity, disability, age or status as a covered veteran should be directed to the executive director, Human Resources and Affirmative Action, 694-6607.

What should I do if a student disrupts the learning environment in an online class?

The same standards of the classroom environment apply to the online classroom. (See Resources section for more information.)

What should I do if a student sends me an inappropriate or offensive email or text message?

Tell the student specifically what about the message was inappropriate/unacceptable and that if it continues, the student will be reported to the dean of students for disciplinary action. You could use this as a teachable moment and educate the student as to what is appropriate in the online environment. Retain copies of the offensive message and your response.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT)

bit@pstcc.edu

Dean of Students and BIT Chairperson

Mary Bledsoe

mcbledsoe@pstcc.edu

865.694-6415