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Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT)

Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT)

May 27
(Memorial Day) - No Classes
Jun 19
(Juneteenth) -No Classes
Jul 4
(4th of July) - No Classes
Sep 2
(Labor Day) - No Classes
Nov 11
(Veteran's Day) - No Classes

Resources for Faculty and Staff

Preventing Misconduct in the Classroom

Just as instructors determine academic standards and evaluate student performance accordingly, it is recommended that instructors determine social conduct standards for the classroom (no cell phones, sleeping, etc). For courses with online components, expectations regarding electronic communications should also be established.

These expectations should be clearly explained in the syllabus and also reference the Student Code of Conduct. This not only sends a message to potentially disruptive students but also communicates to all other students that the instructor will ensure a classroom environment free from disruption.

It is important for instructors to address undesirable behaviors immediately. This will prevent the perception that the behavior is acceptable maintain a calm and positive learning environment for both faculty and students.

Responding to Misconduct in the Classroom

Step 1: Issue a verbal warning to the student. Make sure the student understands the issue and that failure to correct the behavior will result in a written warning. For documentation purposes, the instructor should follow-up with an email to the student’s VOLMail account restating the issue discussed in the verbal warning. This would also be a good opportunity to suggest possible resources, if appropriate, such as counseling or tutoring.

Step 2: If the verbal warning does not remedy the situation and the inappropriate behavior continues the instructor should:

  • Talk to the student individually after class or ask to schedule a meeting
  • Clarify the expectations for classroom conduct and seek the student’s cooperation in meeting those expectations.
  • Provide the student with a written letter outlining the student’s failure to correct the behavior and indicate the desired resolution and consequences of failure to prevent future issues
  • Provide a copy of the letter and any additional documentation related to the situation to the Assistant Provost for Student Affairs to be included in the student’s academic record.

Step 3: If the situation persists and the inappropriate behavior continues:

  • If the behavior persists beyond the written warning or is so disruptive that immediate action is necessary, the instructor should ask the student to leave the class and set up a face-to-face meeting prior to being allowed back to class. If the student refuses to leave the class, the instructor should call Campus Police.
  • Document the situation in an email and immediately contact the Assistant Provost for Student Affairs or a member of the BIT to discuss the issue.
  • Submit a Behavioral Incident Report along with all supporting documentation.

NOTE: Instructors may direct a disruptive student to leave for the remainder of a class period. Longer suspensions or involuntary withdrawals require further disciplinary action through the student disciplinary process. Instructor documentation of the issues and steps taken to address the student are critical in the process.

Meeting with an Angry or Threatening Student

Instructors should not meet alone with a student who may be a threat to their personal safety. Instead of asking to meet after class, instructors should schedule a specific appointment so that they have time to prepare for the meeting. Instructors should call a member of the Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT) for consultation prior to the meeting and, if needed, ask the member to attend the meeting. They should also alert the Assistant Provost for Instruction or Student Affairs of the situation.

Responding to a Student in Distress

If a staff member suspects that a student is suffering from depression or anxiety, they should express their concern to the student and refer them to the Student Success Center for counseling services. Sometimes it is difficult to know how to approach the student or what to say to a student who appears to be in distress.

  • If appropriate, invite the student to an office or a private place to talk rather than addressing the issue in a public place or in the classroom.
  • Gain an understanding of why the student is upset. This will help determine if the student is having a bad day or if they need intervention. Start the conversation by saying “If you want to tell me what is upsetting you, I’m here to listen” or a similar conversation starter.
  • Use active listening and repeat back to the student what they just said.
  • If the student’s issue requires additional assistance, offer to escort the student to the Student Success Center where counselors are available to talk to the student.