What You Should Know

Disruptive Students

Distressed Students

Disruptive student: A student whose conduct is clearly
and immediately reckless, disorderly, dangerous or
threatening including self-harmful behavior.

Examples of a disruptive student may include:
  • Paranoia or high levels of suspiciousness
  • Hostile or ongoing sarcastic remarks
  • Open conflict with peers or university staff, instructors or
  • Dominating classroom discussions
  • Frequently interrupting lectures
  • Disorganized or erratic communication (written or verbal)
If a student is causing a disruption but does not pose a threat:
  1. Ensure your safety in the environment
  2. Set limits by explaining how the behavior is inappropriate
  3. If behavior continues, ask the student to stop and warn
    them that official action may be taken
  4. If you believe there is a safety risk, contact Public Safety
  5. Immediately report the incident to the Dean of Students
    or Law Student Affairs. These offices can support in the
    resolution of problems and connect you with additional
    campus resources.
Who to Contact:

If you have safety concerns due to a student’s disruptive behavior,
contact Public Safety at 619-260-2222 immediately. Additional
resources include:



Distressed student: A student with a cluster of persistent
behaviors who seems unduly anxious, sad, irritable,
withdrawn, confused or expresses suicidal thoughts.

You may notice:
  • Significant changes in weight
  • Bizarre, unexplained and abrupt changes in behavior
  • Intoxication (alcohol and/or drug use)
  • Excessive risk taking
  • Disorientation or forgetfulness
  • Expressions of concern by peers
  • Decline in attendance or missing class
Student may exhibit:
  • Declining quality of work or grades
  • Multiple requests for special exceptions
  • Bizarre or morbid content in writing
  • Anger, hostility, sadness, moodiness
  • Incapacitating test anxiety
  • Withdrawal from discussion
  • Lack of energy and motivation
Student might indicate:
  • Threats to harm self or others, explicit or implied
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Thoughts of suicide

If you feel that a student you are working with is exhibiting
signs of distress and you are seeking additional tools, please
check out our quick reference guide for how to
help a student in distress and please contact Student Wellness
at 619-260-4655 so we can help provide you with additional support.