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Tips for Faculty

To report troublesome behavior, faculty members should report to the UTSA BIT any student behavior that they believe indicates a student may represent a danger to themselves or another. Reports can be sent by email to bit@utsa.edu . If the faculty member believes that the threat of danger is imminent, the UTSAPD should be contact immediately at (210) 458-4911.

Dealing with disruptive students in the classroom:

Faculty members are allowed to prevent disruptive students from interfering with their teachings. To this end

  • faculty may ask a student to refrain from certain behaviors in the classroom
  • require a student to meet with them before returning to class
  • or, when necessary, ask a disruptive student to leave the classroom and not return until meeting with the faculty member.

In most situations, behavior that requires a student to be removed from a class should be reported to BIT. As always, faculty members retain the right to file a complaint with the Student Conduct and Community Standards when the student violates the Student Code of Conduct. A complaint with the SCCS may be filed by accessing their website- http://utsa.edu/studentlife/conduct/.

Dealing with students who refuse to leave the classroom when asked:

If a student is asked to leave a class because of his or her disruptive behavior and the student refuses, the faculty member must determine whether it is possible to continue to conduct class. For example, a faculty member should not feel a need to continue a class session when a student has the potential to become violent or when a student’s behavior has been so insubordinate and disruptive that attempts to continue class will be futile.

In this case, a faculty member may immediately dismiss class. If the student appears violent or dangerous, the faculty member should call UTSAPD or ask someone else to place the call. In any case, if class must be dismissed because of the behavior of a student, then the UTSA BIT should be informed, and the student should not be allowed to return to class until cleared to do so by the Dean of the college or school in conjunction with the UTSA BIT.

Avoiding confrontation in the classroom:

While in the classroom, faculty members are encouraged to avoid confronting angry students in a manner which may escalate the potential for violent behavior. Meeting with an angry student after class is usually preferable to confronting the student in front of a classroom of students. If the faculty member is uncomfortable meeting with the student one-on-one, arrangements should be made to have another faculty member present. Students with severe anger management problems should be reported to the UTSA BIT to determine if the behavior represents a pattern for the student or an isolated incident.

Responding to Angry or Disruptive Students:

Classroom instructors face many challenges in teaching a diverse student population, and it is expected that students at a university will experience a wide variety of emotions. While many students will be attentive and engaged in the classroom activities, others may be day-dreaming, bored, distracted, or pre-occupied. Many instructors have their own effective techniques for working with these students. Those students who come to class under the influence of drugs or alcohol, express extreme anger, or become disruptive, present a greater challenge.

On occasion a faculty member may recognize that a student is under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. Faculty members may handle this situation as they choose, but should be mindful that they have the option to refer the student to the Student Conduct and Community Standards.

Those faculty members reporting such behavior should be as thorough as possible in providing details of the incident. The University Counseling Center can provide support for students with alcohol or drug use problems.

It is more likely that faculty members will encounter students who become angry in class. This anger might derive from differences among classmates, discussion of a controversial topic, or a disputed grade on a paper or test. This is to be expected.

Anger in a student is not a violation of the Student Code of Conduct nor is it necessarily a threat to classroom order. When a student’s anger manifests itself into disregard for University authority or disorderly conduct, the faculty member retains the same right to report that student to the Student Conduct and Community Standards.