Violent Students

Violence typically occurs only when the student is totally frustrated and feels unable to do anything about it. The adage, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," best applies here.

Do:

  • Prevent total frustration and helplessness by quickly and calmly acknowledging the intensity of the situation, (e.g., "I can see you're really upset and really mean business and have some critical concerns on your mind").
  • Explain clearly and directly what behaviors are acceptable, (e.g., "You certainly have the right to be angry but hitting (breaking things) is not okay.").
  • Get necessary help — other staff, Campus Security 555, Counseling Services 5118.
  • Stay in an open area.
  • Divert attention when all else fails, (e.g., "If you hit me, I can't be of help.")

Don't:

  • Ignore warning signs that the person is about to explode, (e.g., yelling, screaming, clenched fists, statements like, "You're leaving me no choice.").
  • Threaten, dare, taunt, or push into a corner.
  • Touch.