Classroom Decorum

Navarro College seeks to promote a teaching and learning environment free from material and substantial classroom disruptions. Faculty have the authority and responsibility to effectively manage their classroom environments. Instructors may determine the time and manner for student questions and expression of points of view in the instructional setting.

Accordingly, instructors should establish, communicate and enforce reasonable rules of classroom behavior and decorum via the syllabus and classroom discussion. These procedures are not intended to discourage appropriate classroom expression, discussion, or disagreement, but to promote respectful interactions.

Rules and expectations for the instructional setting should be established by the instructor and communicated to the students via the course syllabus and classroom discussion at the beginning of the course. Such rules may contain reasonable restrictions in light of the instructional setting, teaching method, and learning objectives; They also may vary depending upon the educational context. Instructional rules may include, but are not limited to prohibitions on the use of electronic devices, refusing to be seated, talking during lectures, sleeping, eating, newspaper reading, entering the classroom late, or leaving early without authorization, etc.

Disruptive Behavior is prohibited. “Disruptive behavior” means conduct that materially and substantially interferes with or obstructs the teaching or learning process in the context of a classroom or educational setting. Disruptive behavior includes conduct that distracts or intimidates others in a manner that interferes with instructional activities, fails to adhere to an instructor’s appropriate classroom rules or instructions, or interferes with the normal operations of the college. While mild and severe behaviors may be subject to interpretation, college officials must make the final determination of what is considered appropriate behavior.

Mild Forms of Disruptive Behavior: Talking in class, arriving late, talking on cell phones, sleeping in class, and reading material unrelated to the class.

Instructors who experience students engaging in mild disruptive behavior should provide one or more of the following warnings: a verbal, e-mail, early warning referral, or a written form of communication. The communication should identify the prohibited behavior that occurred, the rules that were violated, and the behavior that is required in the future. The warnings also should include notice stating that any subsequent violation of the classroom rules or this procedure may result in the instructor filing a student code of conduct complaint utilizing the Early Warning Referral or email to the Dean of Students.

Mild Behaviors:*

  • Arriving late or exiting early
  • Making long-winded or off-task comments
  • Eating or drinking
  • Conducting side conversations
  • Talking/Text messaging on cell phones
  • Back and forth quibbling
  • Constantly disagreeing or complaining
  • Bringing babies or children to class
  • Making disrespectful or offensive comments or gestures to the instructor or fellow students
  • Making inappropriate remarks
  • Acting in an immature manner
  • Making exaggerated or emotional responses
  • Appearing to be under the influence of chemicals
  • Irrational, inappropriate unrelated statements

Severe Forms of Disruptive Behavior: Intimidation, insubordination, physical threats and violence are considered severe forms of disruptive behavior. If the disruptive behavior is serious or severe the proper authorities should be contacted immediately.

The instructor must document the disruptive behavior in writing either through an Early Warning Referral or by emailing the Dean of Students.

The complaint should also include a copy of any written warning provided to the student. The instructor must also notify his/her instructional dean of the complaint that the Student Services officials will investigate in accordance with the Student Handbook. The student disciplinary procedures shall govern all proceedings involving such complaints. Sanctions, if necessary, will be imposed in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct.

Severe Behavior:* The following intimidating or aggressive behaviors toward instructors are considered severe:

  • Badgering
  • Obscene gestures
  • Verbal sniping
  • Hostile arguing
  • Defiant or menacing physical posturing
  • Challenging
  • Harassing or intimidating statements toward the instructor

*These lists are inclusive and may not be comprehensive.

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