At one point or another, most students have been present in the classroom when a classmate disrupts the class. This disruption may be in the form of a classmate passing a note to another student, a student whispering to a classmate during the middle of a lesson, or a student repeatedly interrupting the instructor during the course of classroom instruction. For the most part, students don't think too much about these incidents and instead go about their school day.
But classroom disruption can be a serious matter, particularly when it is seen as a form of academic misconduct at the school. Academic misconduct violates the Code of Conduct at many educational institutions and often leads to disciplinary action.
Classroom disruption that turns into an allegation of academic misconduct should not be taken lightly. It is imperative that any student facing this charge obtain advice and guidance from an experienced academic misconduct attorney. Academic misconduct attorney-advisor Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm have extensive experience successfully representing students across the country who are accused of academic misconduct. Attorney Lento is dedicated to protecting the rights of students, vigorously defending the charges brought against them, and advocating on their behalf for the most favorable outcome in each situation.
College Academic Misconduct Covers Many Different Types of Behaviors
Every academic institution has a Code of Conduct that includes a section on academic misconduct, which outlines the specific behaviors that are considered a violation of the Code at that particular school. College academic misconduct is a broad term that includes many different types of behaviors. Classroom disruption is a behavior that falls under this category because classroom disruption interferes with the learning process. It is important that students familiarize themselves with their school's Code of Conduct and policies, so they have a full understanding of the school's expectations regarding academic integrity and the consequences for violating the policies.
Understanding Classroom Disruption
The definitions of “classroom disruption” vary from one school to another, and the specific behaviors are usually specified in each school's Student Handbook. For the most part, “classroom disruption” refers to behavior that disturbs, distracts, or interferes with normal academic functions. These academic functions may include—but not be limited to—lectures, classroom activities, labs, research functions, office hours, and normal campus functions.
What Are Some Common Examples of Classroom Disruption?
Many different actions and behaviors can cause classroom disruption. Some of these behaviors may be intentional; others may be accidental. While each incident must be evaluated individually based on the circumstances, some common examples of classroom disruption include—but are not limited to—any of the following:
- Creating a disturbance
- Disrupting class by making loud, inappropriate noises
- Disrupting classroom activities by excessive talking
- Repeatedly entering and leaving the classroom
- Continually interrupting others
- Repeatedly speaking, without being recognized by the instructor
- Verbally abusing others
- Making physical threats
- Repeated cell phone use
- Monopolizing classroom discussion
- Refusing to comply with instructor's direction
- Additional behaviors that are deemed disruptive to the class by the faculty member
Consequences Of Classroom Disruption and A Charge of Academic Misconduct
All Codes of Conduct differ, and that is why it is critical that students at a college or university familiarize themselves with their school's Code of Conduct. Understanding the expectations at a school and being informed of the consequences for violating school policies lay the foundation for an educational experience that avoids these situations.
Responses to classroom disruption depend upon the college or university's policies, the level of disruption, and whether this is the first or subsequent violation of the academic misconduct policy. When there is a minor classroom disruption, the faculty member will more often than not inform the student that certain behaviors that they are exhibiting are disruptive to the class and remind the student of their responsibilities and expectations within the classroom setting. This communication may be done verbally or in writing. Oftentimes, the instructor will warn the student that the student may be subject to disciplinary action if the disruptive behavior should continue.
If the faculty member determines that the classroom disruption is such that a claim of academic misconduct must be filed, then what happens next follows the policies and procedures of that particular college or university. The school may notify the student in writing of the allegation, ask for a response to the allegation, arrange for a meeting to discuss the allegation, or if the offense is serious, begin a formal investigation into the charge. This process often includes collecting evidence, interviewing witnesses to the classroom disruption, and more. In most cases, the school then determines whether there is sufficient evidence to bring the case to a disciplinary hearing or whether the charge should be dismissed.
What Should I Do If I Am Facing a Charge of Classroom Disruption and Academic Misconduct?
One of the most important things to do if you are facing a charge of classroom disruption that may translate into a formal charge of academic misconduct at your school is to take the charge seriously. Academic misconduct allegations can move along rather quickly, often without the student realizing the full context of the allegation or the consequences of the behavior.
Academic misconduct allegations can have a far-reaching impact on your life far beyond your semester at a college or university. Academic misconduct charges can get in the way of your education, future educational opportunities, and employment opportunities. If you have been accused of classroom disruption, don't delay in seeking the counsel of a qualified, professional academic attorney-advisor. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm have extensive experience helping students throughout the United States who are in these situations. Academic attorney-advocate Lento works tirelessly on behalf of students facing disciplinary charges, protecting their rights, and building a strong defense of the charges against them. To learn more about how Attorney Lento and the Lento Law Firm can help your case, contact him at 888-535-3636 or online.