21. Classroom Behavior
Texas A&M University supports the principle of freedom of expression for both instructors and students. The university respects the rights of instructors to teach and students to learn. Maintenance of these rights requires classroom conditions that do not impede their exercise. Classroom behavior that seriously interferes with either (1) the instructor’s ability to conduct the class or (2) the ability of other students to profit from the instructional program will not be tolerated. An individual engaging in disruptive classroom behavior may be subject to disciplinary action. See 24.4.15.
21.1 When a student’s behavior in a class is so seriously disruptive as to compel immediate action, the instructor has the authority to remove a student from the class on an interim basis, pending an informal hearing on the behavior. A student who has been removed from a class on an interim basis is entitled to an informal hearing before the head of the department offering the course within three working days of the removal. The department head may either:
21.1.1 Approve an agreement of expectations between the student and the instructor and reinstate the student to the class, or,
21.1.2 Extend the removal of the student from the class and refer the case to the Student Conduct Office for adjudication. A copy of all material sent to Student Conduct Office should be provided to the instructor’s academic Dean or designee and to the student’s academic Dean or designee.
21.2 When a student action is not so serious as to require immediate removal from the class, these steps are to be followed:
21.2.1 The instructor responsible for the class or activity where the alleged disruptive behavior occurred will inform the student that his/her behavior has been inappropriate. The instructor will describe to the student specific needed changes in the student’s behavior. The student will be provided an opportunity to modify his/her behavior in accordance with the changes identified. The instructor will provide the student with a written, dated summary of his/her discussion with the student, and the instructor will retain a file copy of this summary.
21.2.2 If a student believes the instructor’s expectations are unreasonable, he/she may confer with the instructor’s department head about this matter. The department head may choose to support the guidelines developed by the instructor, or he or she may work with the instructor to develop a modified set of expectations. If there are changes in the instructor’s original set of expectations, a signed and dated copy will be provided by the department head to both the student and the instructor.
21.2.3 Should a student’s behavior continue to be unacceptable, the instructor will apprise his/her (the instructor’s) department head of what has occurred and will share with the department head the written summary of the discussion with the student. The department head may wish to initiate additional discussion with the instructor and/or the student. If the department head concurs with the instructor’s view that the problem has not been resolved, the situation may be referred to the Student Conduct Office. A memorandum briefly describing the student’s behavior, as well as a copy of the written summary of the instructor’s discussion with the student and any other related material, should be forwarded to the Student Conduct Office for adjudication. A copy of all material sent to the Student Conduct Office should be provided to the instructor’s academic Dean or designee and to the student’s academic Dean or designee.
21.3 In a laboratory course covered by a laboratory safety acknowledgement form, students are required to electronically acknowledge their agreement to follow safety rules. Any student who has not completed this acknowledgement by the second lab period will be asked to leave the laboratory until the acknowledgement is completed. The student will be readmitted to the laboratory session immediately upon completion of the acknowledgement.