DISRUPTIVE STUDENTS REFERENCE GUIDE

Download a printable PDF version of the Disruptive Students Reference Guide

Kent State University is committed to providing a safe and secure environment that is conducive to scholarship, social growth and individual self-discipline.

At times, Faculty and Staff have to manage disruptive behaviors of students. This document is meant to provide guidance as well as various campus resources to faculty and staff that may have an interaction with a disruptive student.

Please use the information below to determine the appropriate action(s) to take.

1. Is there an immediate threat?

2. Is the behavior a classroom disruption?

3. Should the student be referred to the Office of Student Conduct?

4. What should be included in documentation?

Important phone numbers


1. Is there an immediate threat?

If you are concerned for your immediate safety or that of others, call 911.

2. Is the behavior a classroom disruption?

Examples of disruptive behavior may include but are not limited to: monopolizing class time with excessive comments or questions, interrupting class sessions or assignments, abusing faculty office hours. If you are experiencing a disruptive student in an educational setting, who is not an immediate threat refer to the Classroom Disruption Policy:

a. Tell the student to stop the specific behavior(s)!  You can do this verbally, but you should also do this in writing by sharing your expectations and consequences for non-compliance.

b. Document it. After the situation has been resolved, or the current incident has subsided, write a factual, detailed account of what occurred. Use concrete terms rather than opinions and be specific. Share the documentation with the leadership in your administrative unit or academic department.

c. If the student continues the current behaviour, you may ask the student to leave the classroom and notify the chairperson and/or dean of the incident to coordinate one of the following options:

1. Ask the chairperson or dean to authorize a classroom administrative withdrawal

2. Ask the chairperson or dean to contact the Vice President for the Division of Student Affairs or Dean of Students to request an interim action, pending teh outcome of the student conduct process

3. Refer the student(s) to Student Mediation Services

4. Contact the Office of Student Conduct to discuss submitting a referral for adjudication

d. Additional resources for disruptive and distressed students can be found on the Step Up Speak Out website.

3. Should the student be referred to the Office of Student Conduct?

Examples of disruptive behavior that may violate the Code of Student Conduct include “harassment” (attempting to contact you multiple times at a private email or phone address), “disorderly conduct” (threatens harm to you, other students, or property in the class), or “reasonable request” (if you have informed the student to stop specific behavior verbally and/or in writing, but they do not comply). A full list of violations, as well as information about the student conduct process can be found in the Code of Student Conduct.

If you have questions about whether a student’s disruptive behavior can be addressed through the university student conduct system, contact Lisa Oddo, Assistant Director at the Office of Student Conduct by phone at 330-672-4054 or by email to loddo1@kent.edu. University wide options and the appropriateness of a referral to the Office of Student Conduct will be discussed.

a. Document it. Disruptive behavior should be documented (see document guidelines below). This document may be used to generate an incident report with the Office of Student Conduct or may be used in other university processes.

b. If the student continues the current disruptive behavior, notify the chairperson and/or dean of the incident to coordinate and facilitate the student conduct referral process.

c. Additional resources for disruptive and distressed students can be found on the Step Up Speak Out website.

4. What should be included in documentation?

General guideline is to document! Do not ignore disruptive behavior. Documentation is required to show a history of repeated disruption.

a. Document the date, time and specific behavior of each incident

b. Write a factual, detailed account of the incident that occurred. Use quotes when possible. Avoid opinions and labels. Only document what the student was doing- do not speculate why the student was doing it.

c. Include the names of any witnesses

d. Describe any attempts you have made to resolve the situation.

Additional resources. If you don’t know whether to be concerned about a behavior, contact the Dean of Students at 330-672-4050 or the Student Ombuds at 330-672-9494 for guidance.


Important Campus Phone Numbers

Kent State University Police Services
330-672-3070 (non-emergency)

Student Accessibility Services
330-672-3391

Office of Student Conduct
330-672-4054

Psychological Services
330-672-2487