Disruptive Students in the Classroom

The Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs (VPSA) is responsible for student conduct.  As such, the following is provided as a guide to faculty who may encounter disruptive students in their classes.

Students are expected to conduct themselves as responsible adults in the classroom. Outbursts, persistent inappropriate talking, and generally disruptive behavior should not be tolerated.  Faculty members have the right to insist on appropriate classroom behavior.`

In general, it is best to speak with students who exhibit disruptive behavior either before or after the class. Once disruptions occur, students who fail to comply with acceptable standards of conduct may be asked to leave the classroom. If the student refuses to leave, the faculty member may call Public Safety (718.982.2111) for assistance. It is important for you to note that faculty may not remove a student permanently from a class without an intervention that provides due process. If the inappropriate behavior continues, a formal complaint may be brought against the student. This sets in motion the student disciplinary process outlined by Article 15 of The City University of New York Bylaws that governs student conduct. This may be found online.

Faculty and staff are frequently the first to identify a student in distress and are often perceived by students as providers of advice and support. Your interest and concern may be critical in helping a student regain the emotional health necessary for academic success. In addition, faculty and staff are often the first to notice a student whose behavior may create a disruption to others or pose a threat to campus safety. Your response is essential for the welfare of the campus environment. If you are concerned about the behavior of a particular student, please consult your Chairperson, the VPSA’s office, or a member of the Campus Assessment Referral and Evaluation System (CARES) team to complete a CARES Online Reporting Form. The Counseling Center offers a Faculty Referral Brochure with helpful suggestions, which can be found in the Counseling Center in Building 1A Room 109 or on their Website.

If you would like to discuss a student conduct matter confidentially, please feel free to contact me or the Interim Judicial Officer, Ann Treadaway. Please know that we are eager to accept your calls and emails at any time and are here to serve as a resource to faculty and students, as well as work with faculty members to determine the best course of action in resolving classroom discipline problems. Among these are counseling, mediation, and/or referral to an outside agency.

If you have questions or a need for additional information, please do not hesitate to contact my office.