To promote the health and safety of the campus community, coordinate information that will contribute to student, faculty and staff health, well-being, and successful experiences, and develop support plans to address behavioral issues of concern.
To serve as the coordinating hub of a network of existing resources, focused on prevention and early intervention. Its primary purpose is to address situations involving students who may be experiencing distress or who are perceived to pose a threat to the safety of themselves and/or our students, faculty, and staff. More specifically, BIRT will look at behavioral concerns that fall outside of existing student discipline policies. A secondary purpose is to arrange education and training for our students, faculty and staff to recognize and report potential behavioral risks to BIRT.
Educate the campus community about student behaviors of concern and reporting procedures
Balance the individual needs of students, faculty, staff and administration
Act in a proactive manner as well as provide consultation and support to faculty, staff and administration in assisting students who display concerning or disruptive behaviors
Perform initial assessment of risk and level of threat
Develop specific strategies to manage potentially harmful or disruptive behavior to protect the safety and rights of both the student and the campus community
Engage in ongoing refinement of team procedures and protocols to foster optimal team functioning and interface with the campus community
It requires the active engagement and participation from all members of the college community to accomplish our mission and meet our responsibilities You are an important part of our success in the assurance of a safe and vibrant learning environment.
The Behavioral Intervention Response Team (BIRT) utilizes a protocol to ensure that harmful or disruptive behaviors are addressed appropriately. When a referral is submitted through the BIRT online form, team members receive the report through campus email. For reports that require immediate intervention, the team convenes immediately to assess the situation and develop an appropriate response. Otherwise, the team evaluates non-emergency reports during weekly meetings to develop the appropriate response to each person of concern.
Once a referral is made, and depending on the situation, immediate action may be taken:
You are the eyes and ears of CRC. Our team cannot be everywhere at once so your contribution is essential to the team’s effectiveness in ensuring the physical and psychological safety of our campus learning community.
This information is not intended to provide you with the skills or techniques to manage a "crisis" when it occurs; nor is it intended to provide you with the knowledge to "diagnose" a student in crisis. The intent is to assist you in identifying extreme situations that warrant immediate intervention. Responding to students in crisis in an appropriate manner helps us continue to demonstrate care and compassion for our students.
Experiencing a crisis is oftentimes frightening and overwhelming for a person. If you encounter a student in distress, stay calm and acknowledge to the student that you are aware of his/her distress. A student should be reassured that you are concerned about his/her well-being and you are there to support him/her. The following are helpful guidelines when encountering a student in distress:
1. Request to see the student in private or after class. This may help minimize embarrassment and defensiveness.
2. Briefly acknowledge your observations of him/her (specific to behaviors and/or performance): express your concerns directly and honestly.
3. Listen carefully to what the student may be troubled about without necessarily agreeing or disagreeing.
4. Clarify the student's problem or concern and acknowledge your concerns or uneasiness.
5. Unusual and inappropriate behaviors should not be ignored. Comment directly on what you have observed.
6. Involve yourself in the process as it impacts your immediate work area or situation. At times, in an attempt to reach out or help a troubled student, you may become more involved than time or skill permits. In such cases,
contact your Dean or supervisor as well as the Counseling Center (ext. 7316), the Health Center (ext. 7584), or campus police (ext. 2221) and indicate that you have a student in crisis. You will be advised of next steps.
When to Call Campus Police
Irrational or inappropriate behavior causing disruption in or outside the classroom such as inappropriately focusing attention on self in class, going on and on about personal life in class or repeatedly taking classroom discussions off track.
How to Respond:
Ask to speak to the student privately, either outside the classroom, your office or the division office. Indicate concern for the student's welfare based on the observed behavior and ask what s/he believes led to the behavior. When the time is right, reiterate your rules for acceptable behavior in the class and advise him/her of future consequences if you do not see an immediate change in behavior. It is also helpful to describe what appropriate behavior looks like. If the disruptive behavior continues, notify your Dean or supervisor and make a referral to the Behavioral Intervention Response Team (BIRT). For immediate concerns, contact campus police.
Abuse (Physical, Sexual, or Emotional):
If a minor student (aged 17 or younger) discloses that s/he has suffered abuse, advise the minor student that you have a responsibility to report the incident to authorities. The law requires a report law be made to the authorities especially if s/he is still around children.
How to Respond:
The child abuse reporting law mandates a report when there is a reasonable suspicion or knowledge that minors may be in need of protection. Therefore, childhood abuse reported by adults should be reported if there is a reasonable suspicion that potentially there may be another child victim. Contact campus police who will advise the student of his/her legal rights and advise you of next steps.
The exaggerated fear of failing, nervousness and difficultly concentrating, tendency to overreact with fear, or manic talking or frenzied activity.
How to Respond:
Ask to speak with the student privately and indicate concern for the student's welfare based on the behaviors you have observed. Ask if s/he is aware of the behavior. If the behavior persists, notify your Dean or supervisor and make a referral to BIRT.
Distortion of reality, (i.e., belief that s/he is singled out, or s/he has special gifts or talents, or that the instructor is deliberately mistreating him/her. The student may exaggerate accomplishments and academic or personal goals.
How to Respond:
In the case where the student’s behavior is disruptive to the teaching and learning, contact campus police and the crisis counselor immediately. Additionally, notify your Dean or supervisor and make a referral to BIRT.
The student requires an inordinate amount of your time and attention and can be demanding if you do not comply. The student may seek to control your time and unconsciously believes the amount of time you provide is a reflection of his/her worth.
How to Respond:
Take the student aside and advise him/her of what you can provide in the way of time and resources. Follow up with an email to the student and include a referral to campus resources including the Reading Writing Center, Math Center, Tutoring Center, and Counseling Center. Allow the student to decide if s/he will access these resources the(never refer a student to resources as a disciplinary action or directive). Set and maintain limits for your availability and continue to reiterate the appropriate use of campus resources and limit the length of the conversation. Firm, consistent messages work best in response to demanding behavior.
Symptoms of depression include a sudden change in interest in or outside of class, flattened feelings or affect, sad or fatigued, complaints of insomnia or chronically tired, sudden onslaught of physical ailments, and loss of desire to be in school or with friends or family.
How to Respond:
Speak with the student privately and confidentially. Identify the behaviors that have prompted concern for the student’s welfare and ask if s/he is aware of the behavior. If you believe the student may cause harm to him/herself or others, or if the student has contemplated suicide or references previous attempts at suicide, notify the counseling center and ask for the crisis counselor or contact campus police. Additionally, make a referral to BIRT. It is important not to minimize the student’s feelings or suggest that these feelings are temporary or that everyone gets depressed.