The Behavioral Intervention Team is often called to help faculty and staff better understand the difference between disruptive and dangerous behaviors. Below is a list of common behaviors that can be differentiated, although overlap may occur. This model provides a framework to help educate the difference between behavioral management and more serious and dangerous behaviors.
Examples of Annoying Behaviors
- Not picking up on social cues
- Standing within others' personal space boundaries
- Contacting an office multiple times
- Taking/making calls, texting or using smart phones for social media during class
- Involving parents or attorneys in situations
- Frequent interruption of the professor or asking non-relevant, off-topic questions
- Eating or drinking without permission (i.e. in a class or office)
- Reading a magazine, doing work or studying for another class in class
- Not doing homework or not being prepared for class
- Minor hygiene issues
Examples of Disruptive Behaviors
Disruptive behaviors will have a significant affect on the classroom, office or campus environment, but may not appear to be an immediate threat. Some of these behaviors may still warrant contacting Campus Police or reporting an incident to the BIT.
- Students misuse of technology in the classroom or other public place
- Inappropriate or revealing clothing (ie. extremely sexually provocative clothes, pajamas)
- Crosstalk or carrying on a side conversation while the professor is speaking
- Interruptions such as frequent use of the restroom, smoke breaks, etc.
- Poor personal hygiene that leads to disruption or lack of focus
- Yelling or being excessively loud
- Excessively interacting with an office to impede work from being completed
- Entitled or direspectful talk to faculty, staff or other students
- Arguing grades or assignments for extra points after the professor has asked the student to stop
- Refusing to leave or cooperate
- Showing up to class, work or other events in strange, inappropriate clothing (i.e. costumes)
Examples of dangerous behaviors
Dangerous behaviors indicate possible violence or cause concern that should be addressed quickly and by someone with appropriate training. It is important to note that dangerous behaviors can also be disruptive and may cause uncomfortable feelings. The risk of violence may be towards self or others, but can also indicate future harm towards self and/or others.
- Racist or otherwise fixated thoughts (expressed more than once)
- Bullying behavior focused on students in the classroom, living areas, etc.
- Direct communicated threats to a faculty member, staff member, or student
- Prolonged non-verbal passive aggression (ie. sitting with arms crossed, glaring or staring, refusal to speak or respond to questions/directives)
- Use of alcohol or other substances in class or attending class while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs
- Self-injurious behavior (ie. cutting, burning)
- Harassing or stalking behaviors
- Physical assault such as pushing, shoving or punching
- Throwing objects or slamming doors
- Storming out of the room when upset
- Conversations that are designed to upset other students such as descriptions of weapons, killing or death
- Sudden and dramatic change in personality or lifestyle
- Psychotic, delusional or rambling speech
- Arrogant or rude talk to faculty, staff or students
- Objectifying language that depersonalizes others
Adapted from Harper College & NaBITA, 2013.