Implementing student discipline is an opportunity to engage with students and assist them in understanding our expectations for appropriate student behavior, academic performance, and interacting with others. The goal of student discipline is to correct inappropriate behaviors by providing students with clear guidelines, expectations, and approaches and resources for making necessary changes. Helping the student identify the cause for the behavior, as opposed to just addressing the behavior as a symptom, is an effective way to engage the student in self-reflection.
Your syllabus should include specific expectations for acceptable classroom behavior and the potential consequences for failing to adhere to those expectations. Some faculty will utilize classroom time to discuss behavior and academic integrity and provide examples for students to review. Encouraging the class to develop standards of behavior collectively may enhance student buy-in.
Sometimes, the best efforts do not yield the best results for all students. In cases where you believe you have made your best effort to correct student behavior and still, there are limited or no results, referring a student to the next level of student discipline can be effective. The Student Discipline Officer (SDO) is appointed by the College President annually and is assigned the responsibility to carry out the scope of suspension as allowed in the Los Rios CCD Board of Trustee Regulation R-2441: Standards for Student Conduct; as an instructor, it is important that you understand the scope of your authority to discipline students and that you are familiar with this regulation. It is also helpful to review Article 21 of the LRCFT contract to fully understand your scope of authority and the conditions surrounding the removal of a student from a class and, in some cases, the student’s return to class. Please follow these steps to ensure effectiveness of the student discipline process:
1. Efforts to correct student behavior have been made and documented. Documenting that one or more efforts have been made to correct the behavior is important in substantiating the need to refer the student to the next level. Documentation may include a note to yourself that describes the date of the incident, the behavior, and efforts made toward correction. Another method is to e-mail the student a summary of the incident, how you addressed it, and your expectations for future class meetings. Communicating this information in a matter-of-fact way is best. If you believe a referral to the SDO is warranted, you must complete the Violation of Student Code of Conduct form (a.k.a. the pink form), available online or in your area office or from the Vice President of Student Services. You must then notify the student of the referral, the reason(s), the dates of the incidences, and any consequences or conditions you are requesting of the SDO. A referral can be made for both formal and informal discipline. Formal discipline is most often used after you have exercised your right to suspend for the current and next class session or when attempts to address academic dishonesty have not led to a change in behavior.
2. Informal disciplinary action is requested of the Student Discipline Officer. Instructors and students have the right to a learning environment that is free of distractions. Managing disruptive students can take time away from teaching and learning and becomes taxing for all involved. If it is the case that a student would respond best to an informal meeting with the SDO regarding behavior and classroom expectations, you may request this. Contact the Student Discipline Officer and complete a referral form indicating the specific behaviors and attempts for correction and what you would expect as an outcome from the meeting. Providing a copy of your class syllabus is also helpful. The focus of the meeting will be on the student’s behavior, the college’s expectations for classroom behavior, and consequences for failing to adhere to the class guidelines.
The Student Discipline Officer contacts the student and, along with a Counselor, will meet with the student and explain the need for the meeting, what has been identified as disruptive behavior, and why it is disruptive. The goal of the meeting is to inform the student of: what is considered appropriate behavior, how to make the appropriate behavior changes, and what future consequences will be for failing to change the behavior.
While the SDO focuses on the behavior, the Counselor identifies support services that may be helpful. For some students, addressing the cause of their behavior and developing an action plan leads to correction. For others, additional services, regular meetings with a Counselor, or referral to outside services may help. Once the meeting occurs, the instructor will be contacted and a summary of the meeting and recommendations is shared. The student will, in most cases, return to class with the understanding that any future misconduct could result in formal discipline that could lead to suspension.
3. Formal discipline is warranted. Once an instructor has documented persistent disruptive behavior or serious misconduct and efforts to correct the behavior have failed to bring about proper conduct, formal disciplinary action is warranted. You will need to provide documentation explaining the sequence of events and efforts made to correct the behavior. You must notify the student that you have made the referral and, they may not return to class until they have met with the SDO. Faculty may suspend a student from the current and next class session and must immediately notify the SDO of the suspension (LRCCD Board Regulation R-2441 speaks to this).
The formal discipline process includes a hearing or meeting with the SDO, and may include a Counselor. If a police report has been filed, one of our Police Officers will also be in attendance. The SDO addresses the behavior, consequences and college expectations. The Counselor may inquire if the student has had similar incidences or patterns of behavior, and whether services have been received, and if not, make recommendations for services on campus. The Police Officer will address the legal implications of the incident (charges filed with DA, etc.). The goal is to change the student’s behavior so that they can continue as a CRC student and be successful.
To begin the formal discipline process, please complete this form:
REFERRAL FOR STUDENT CONDUCT STANDARDS VIOLATION
Password: Los Rios District password