Disruptive Behavior

What is Disruptive Behavior?

Behavior that interferes with other students, faculty or staff, or threatens the safety of the community and their access to an appropriate educational or work environment.

What are some examples of disruptive behavior?

  • Yelling or screaming
  • Persistent and unreasonable demands for time and attention
  • Words or actions that have the effect of intimidating or harassing another
  • Words or actions that cause another to fear for his/her personal safety
  • Threats of physical assault




BGSU Police


Office of the Dean of Students


To report an incident online, click here.

How should I respond to disruptive behavior?

Disruptive behavior should not be ignored. Remain calm. Remind yourself that it is not about you; it is about the situation. Tell the individual that such behavior is inappropriate. Inform the individual that there are consequences for failing to improve the disruptive behavior. If possible, have someone else with you. Many disruptive situations involve anger. Recognize that the period of peak anger usually lasts 20 to 30 seconds. Although this may seem like an eternity in the midst of the situation, often it is best to wait a person's emotions out before continuing.


Disruptive behavior should be documented. Write a factual, detailed account of what occurred. Use concrete terms. Share the documentation appropriately with the Office of the Dean of Students and your immediate supervisor or department head.

  • Do listen through the anger. Use active listening
  • Do acknowledge the feelings of the individual
  • Do allow the person to vent and tell you what is upsetting the individual
  • Do set limits. Explain clearly and directly what behaviors are acceptable "I am willing to speak with you as soon as you lower your voice"
  • Do be assertive, fair, consistent, and honest
  • Do focus on what you can do to help resolve the situation
  • Do make personal referrals. Give a name of an individual when possible, and call ahead to brief the person
  • Do report to BGSU Police, and/or the Office of the Dean of Students
  • Don't minimize the situation
  • Don't get into an argument or shouting match
  • Don't blame, ridicule, or use sarcasm
  • Don't touch
  • Don't ignore the warning signs that the problem is about to explode
  • Don't ignore your own limitations