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Managing Disruptive Student Behavior

What is Disruptive Behavior?

The University of Houston is committed to establishing and maintaining a safe and civil environment for the teaching, learning, and administrative process. The UH Student Handbook defines disruption as obstructing or interfering with university functions or any university activity. Moreover, disruption includes any behavior that interferes with students, faculty, or staff and their access to an appropriate educational or work environment.

Examples of Disruptive Behavior

  • Refusal to comply with faculty or staff direction
  • Loud and/or erratic behavior
  • Behavior that distracts the class
  • Persistent and unreasonable demands for attention
  • Actions that intimidate others
  • Overt inattentiveness
  • Threats of physical assault
  • Romantic or obsessive behavior

Moderate Level of Disruption

  • No immediate danger — mildly distressed
  • Emotionally troubled, student impacted by situational stressors and or trauma
  • Typically a situation that can be handled informally between you and student, and leads to a resolution

High Level of Disruption

When a student exhibits behavior that warrants a greater degree of intervention, immediately address the student’s behavior. If this occurs, you should call UHPD at (713) 743-3333

  • Exhibiting clear distress, disturbance escalating, and/or there is immediate danger of some kind
  • Damaging university property
  • Harming themselves or others

FERPA Student Confidentiality

The privacy of a student’s educational record is protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). The disciplinary record is considered part of the student’s educational record. Any information gathered while speaking with the disruptive student should be handled in a confidential manner.