Faculty 911 Guide to Disruptive Behavior

Call Security at 407.708.2178 or dial 911 immediately if there is a threat of immediate danger!

Disruptive behaviors can be broadly defined as strategies that a student employs that result in the interference or interruption of the day-to-day functioning of a classroom.

LEVEL 1: Disruptive Behaviors/Classroom Management

Level 1 disruptive behaviors are best handled at the instructor level with support of colleagues, program managers, associate deans or the associate vice president in your academic area. Students displaying Level 1 behaviors typically are not referred to the student conduct officer.

Examples of Level 1 behaviors include:

  • Student sleeping
  • Cell phone
  • Texting
  • Surfing the net
  • Accessing Facebook in the classroom
  • Side Conversations
  • Multiple exits and entrances into class
  • Excessive lateness
  • Leaving class early
  • Outburst in class, disturbing other students
  • Excessive absences
  • Mocking the instructor
  • Mocking other students/teacher
  • Bullying
  • Inappropriate Dress
  • Rudeness toward Instructor
  • Student asks too many questions
  • Suspicion of student being under the influence
  • Plagiarism/Cheating
  • General cursing
  • Cursing directed toward instructor/other students

Instructor Response

  • Include Student Code of Conduct expectations in class syllabus.
  • Establish clear expectations, protocols and boundaries/limits.
  • Correct innocent mistakes and minor first offenses.
  • Give a general word of caution to the class.
  • Request that the student stop the behavior.
  • If possible, speak to the student about his or her behavior after class, in a private but safe place.
  • If behavior persists, ask the student to leave the area.
  • Discuss alternatives, reasonable goals and consequences.
  • Document behavior/s and discussion content.
  • Provide student with a copy of expected changes, timeline and potential consequences.
  • Consult with colleagues and/or others for support and assistance.
  • Classroom Management training will be available to all faculty members.

Whom to contact

  • Consult with colleagues.
  • Consult with associate dean or dean of your area.
  • Contact the adjunct mentoring program.
  • Tracy Harbin, director of the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning, will be available for Faculty consults.

LEVEL 2: Disruptive Behaviors/Referral to Student Conduct Officer

Level 2 disruptive behaviors are those behaviors that may require referral to the student conduct officer and/or to Security. They represent an escalation of Level 1 disruptive behaviors, as well as more serious violations of the Student Code of Conduct.

Examples of Level 2 behaviors include:

  • Escalation/repeat of level one disruptive behaviors
  • Defamation/Extortion:
    • Verbal or written slander of another person
    • Injury to person, property, or reputation
  • Computer abuse:
    • Theft of computers
    • Unauthorized access to network
    • Intentionally damaging
    • Unauthorized installation of software
    • Introducing viruses
    • Viewing porn
    • Attempting to crash the network
    • Intentional sending/receiving of obscene, slanderous, libelous, harassing messages or materials
    • Use of computer facilities for commercial purposes
  • Willful wanton and reckless damage to College property or premises or property of college community
  • Having a weapon (gun, knife, Taser, mace)
  • Harassment:
    • Sexual harassment*
    • Intimidation
    • Verbal abuse
    • Stalking*
    • Remarks or placing visual or written material demeaning to a specific person or social identity group
  • Fraudulent documentation
  • Discriminatory harassment based on:
    • Sex
    • Race
    • Gender
    • Religion
    • Disability
    • Age
  • Physical abuse:
    • Domestic violence*
    • Behavior that is threatening or endangering the health of others*
  • Theft of College property or property of the college community, i.e., stolen textbooks
  • Plagiarism/cheating (repeat offenses)

Reports of domestic or relational violence must be reported immediately to security.

Reports of sexual harassment or stalkingmust be reported to the AVP, Equity and Diversity/Title IX Coordinator.

Instructor/Student Conduct Officer Response

Call security immediately if there is a threat of danger.

  • Stay on equal footing with the student.
  • Respond only to specific unwanted behavior; avoid assumptions or diagnoses.
  • Don't take it personally.
  • Remain calm (or fake it).
  • Give the person time to "cool down."
  • Speak in low tones.
  • Be open to problem-solving.
  • State only the facts.
  • Always be respectful.
  • Be concise.
  • Focus on responding rather than reacting.
  • Be willing to give space.
  • Ask for specific complaints to be put in writing.
  • Ask, "How do you want this discussion to end?"

Referral Process

  • Within 24 hours, instructor completes student discipline form, attaches all documentation of any prior incidents and forwards it to the student conduct officer.
  • Student conduct officer reviews submitted discipline form, interviews student and instructor and determines the final outcome.
Contact Information
Janet Balanoff, AVP of Equity and Diversity/ Title IX Coordinator -  x2963, SLM A204B
Maxine Oliver, Director of Security – x2178
Student Conduct Officers
Sandra Bulger X4405
Terri Daniels X2126
Geoffrey Fortunato X2866
Mercedes Bermejo X6014
Randy Pawlowski X5010
Altamonte Springs Campus X6014 ALT 112
Heathrow Campus X4405 HEA121
Oviedo Campus X5010 OVF102B
Sanford/Lake Mary Campus SLM A-0100O
S/LM B Building, Academic Foundations X2126 B208C

Please note: Accused students are afforded due process, as required by law and by College Policy 1.220 (http://www.seminolestate.edu/policies-procedures/policies/administration/1.220.htm) in the Student Code of Conduct. Proceedings and decisions are protected and will not necessarily result in the removal of the student from the course.

LEVEL 3: Distressed Students/Referral to Dean of Students

Students with distressed behaviors cause us concern for their own wellbeing or for the safety of others. They appear to be struggling academically, physically, socially and/or emotionally. These students may communicate their distress directly or indirectly through their writings and/or through nonverbal behaviors.

Distressed students should be referred to the campus dean of students, to the dean of Academic Foundations or to his/her designee, who will subsequently refer the student appropriately.

Examples of Level 3 behaviors include:

  • Jokes about killing self
  • Severe anxiety, stress or sadness
  • Disclosure of personal or family crisis
  • Irrational, erratic or paranoid thinking
  • Revelations of self-injurious tendencies
  • Diminished ability to cope, attend to daily tasks and/or take reasonable care of themselves

Strategies for dealing with Distressed Behaviors

  • To convey understanding, restate what the student has said.
  • Talk openly and directly about your concerns, without judgment or critique.
  • Actively listen to the student's concerns/feelings non-defensively.
  • Look for serious warning signs:
    • Giving away valued possessions
    • Increased substance abuse
    • Sudden, dramatic changes in behavior or personality
    • Loss of hope or purpose
    • Extreme isolation (or other extreme disturbing behaviors)

Whom to contact

  • Consult with experienced colleague.
  • Refer to dean of students, Academic Foundations or his/her designee.

How to refer a distressed student

  • Assure the student that seeking assistance does not mean their problems are unusual or extremely serious.
  • Be frank about your own limits of time, energy, training and objectivity.
  • Let them know that their privacy is protected when using campus support services.
  • Call the dean of students on your campus or the dean of Academic Foundations or her designee and let them know you have a student you wish to refer for counseling.


  • Mercedes Bermejo, ext. 6014, ALT-112 (Altamonte Springs Campus)
  • Terri Daniels, ext. 2126, B-208C (Sanford/Lake Mary Campus)
  • Sandra Bulger, ext. 4405, HEA-121 (Heathrow Campus)
  • Geoffrey Fortunato, ext. 2866, A-100 (Sanford/Lake Mary Campus)
  • Randy Pawlowski, ext. 5010, OVF-102 (Oviedo Campus)

Want more info? Contact us.

If you are a current student and have advising questions, please log in to your MySeminoleState account and contact the advisor listed in your Student Center under "Program Advisor". If you are a future student, please email your questions to admissions@seminolestate.edu.

Seminole State General Contact Information