Working with Students of Concern

Students sit in pairs at desks in a classroom, facing their instructor.

Working with Students of Concern

Whether you are trying to stop disruptive classroom behavior, or worried about a student who seems troubled, both concerns reflect a core UCR value – we care about our students.

Handling Disruptive Students

Disruptive behavior is any behavior that interferes with someone’s access to an appropriate educational or work environment.

Examples include (but are not limited to):

  • Making loud or distracting noises
  • Repeatedly leaving and entering the room
  • Making hostile remarks or threats
  • Monopolizing classroom time

When a student is disruptive:

  • If the behavior is threatening the safety of your classroom, call 911 or the UC Police Department at (951) 827-5222 (2-5222 from campus phones) immediately.
  • Get help. Contact us when you don’t know what to do, or contact Case Management
  • Remain calm. Don't become hostile or escalate the situation.
  • Try to correct the behavior courteously and professionally.
  • You may want to meet with the student after class. You can request the presence of an ombudsperson.
  • Try to be respectful and compassionate. Sometimes students don’t know their behavior is bothersome.
  • Document everything. Keep an interaction log, emails, etc.
  • Report misconduct to us

Help prevent disruptive behavior. Be clear about your expectations and consequences. Consider adding a behavior statement to your syllabus and make your policies easy for students to access.

Helping Distressed Students

Sometimes disruptive behavior is a sign that a student needs help.

Watch out for:

  • Bizarre and/or irrational behavior
  • A drastic change in behavior
  • A drastic change in appearance (hygiene, weight loss/gain, etc.)
  •  A depressed and/or lethargic mood
  • Hyperactivity and/or rapid speech
  • References to suicide or homicide

When a student is distressed:

  • See Something: Sometimes UCR employees see a student more than their friends or family. You may be the first person to notice something is wrong.
  • Say Something: Trust your instincts. Speak up if a student leaves you feeling worried, alarmed, or threatened.
  • Do Something: Your expression of concern may be a critical factor in saving a student’s life.
  • Use the Red Folder to learn more symptoms of student distress, proper response protocol, and appropriate referrals to campus resources.
  • See Counseling & Psychological Services' advice for responding to distressed students.

More Resources

For more specific suggestions and procedures, read Student Classroom and Course-Related Behavior.

Case Management
(951) 827-5000

Counseling & Psychological Services
(951) 827-8255 (2-TALK from campus phones)

UC Police Department
(951) 827-5222