Violent Students

DEALING WITH DISTRESSED AND POTENTIALLY VIOLENT STUDENTS

 Any member of the Colorado State University-Pueblo community may come in contact with a distressed student.  Below is a list of warning signs to be aware of when dealing with these students.  The professionals at the Student Counseling Center are available for consultation regarding these issues.  Please feel free to call 549-2859.

 WARNING SIGNS 
         Acting depressed (no motivation)  
         Increased substance abuse 
         Suicidal thoughts or comments 
         Poor concentration  
         Loud confrontational language  
         Physically violent behavior 
         Withdrawal  
         Disorientation 
         Bullies or intimidates                                         
         Poor hygiene 
         Access to a weapon  
         Verbal or written threats                     
         Agitation  
         Forgetfulness  
         Hyperactive 
         Rambling or disconnected speech  
         Preoccupation with death 
         Disruptive 
         Bizarre Behavior                      
         Paranoia 
         Harassing or stalking behavior


INTERACTION GUIDELINES
If you are the first to be in contact with a distressed student, please follow these suggestions:

 -Safety First!  Maintain a safe distance and an escape route, should you need it.  You may need to call 911 in an emergency or on campus 9-911.

 -Avoid Escalation!  Do not assert authority or threaten with demands.  Do not touch the student, they can be easily provoked.  Try to listen and show support.

 -Don’t Ask Specific Questions!  Ask general questions.  If you know the student’s name use their name first and ask questions such as, “Are you OK?” or “Would you like to talk about what’s happening to you?”  Distressed students are relieved that someone has noticed and is paying attention.  Overly direct questions may be perceived as a challenge or threat.

 -Be Aware of Your Body Language!  Maintain eye contact, respect personal space, minimize body movements, stay in “open” position (do not cross arms or legs), don’t raise your voice, and nod when appropriate.

 -Know Your Limits!  Just listening and referring the student for further help may be what is needed of you.  Be accepting and nonjudgmental.  Commend the student for confiding in you.

TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF!

Be Careful not to overextend yourself—if you can answer yes to one or more of these warning signs, please confide in someone about the situation.

-are you stressed or overwhelmed about the situation?
-are you feeling angry with the student?
-are you thinking of “adopting” or rescuing the student?
-are you “relieving” similar experiences of your own?

RESOURCES:
Student Counseling Center 549-2859
Dean of Student Life  549-2919
Student Health  549-2830
Emergency (on-campus) 9-911