Classroom Disruption

Classroom disruption has been viewed as being likely to substantially or repeatedly interfere with the conduct of class. Examples include, but are not limited to: repeated and unauthorized use of a cell phone during class time; persistent speaking without being recognized, pagers beeping, inappropriate or disrespectful comments to professors or other students, or making physical threats to either professors or other students.

Faculty may discourage classroom disruption by stating reasonable expectations in advance as well as in the class syllabus. Both the underlying reasons for the expectations and the consequences of disruptions may be included in the syllabus. Key factors in responding to classroom disruptions are clear expectations, courtesy and fairness in response and progressive discipline.

A student who persistently disrupts class may be directed by faculty to leave the classroom for the remainder of the class period. The student should be given reason(s) for such action and an opportunity to discuss the matter as soon as practicable.

Faculty may want to keep written records of all alleged classroom disruptions, including date, time and disruptive behavior.

The disruptive student should receive progressive disciplinary action:

  1. Faculty may ask the student to stop the disruptive behavior and warn the student that further disruption can result in student disciplinary action.
  2. Contact the Counseling Office for assistance, advice and possible mediation.
  3. If the student continues the disruptive behavior despite a warning, faculty may then ask the student to leave and may inform the student that the incident will be referred for possible disciplinary action to the Dean of Student Services. 

If the student then refuses to leave the area after being instructed to do so, faculty may inform the student that refusal may be deemed a separate violation of the Student Code of Conduct.