Disruptive Student Behaviors


Disruptive student behaviors are those which impede learning and teaching, and have the potential to escalate or spread if left unchecked. While disruptive behavior is often seen as a minor problem, it can actually have a major impact on the learning environment. There are many categories of disruptive student behaviors which include getting out of seat, talking or noise making, obscene gestures, horseplay, running in the halls, sexual harassment, profanity, or vulgarity.

Key Things to Know About Disruptive Student Behaviors

  • Disruptive student behaviors affect not only a child’s ability to learn, but can impact the learning of other students in the classroom
  • Coping skills and sensory items can help alleviate disruptive student behaviors when used appropriately.

Common Misconceptions About Disruptive Student Behaviors

This isn’t a mental health issue, but a discipline problem.

Certain diagnoses can have symptoms involving disruptive behaviors.

If they would just try harder, they wouldn’t struggle.

Most students don’t want to be disruptive or draw attention to themselves and are doing their best to control behaviors.

They can behave some days, so they should be able to behave every day

Different stressors present themselves on different days. Some days might be easier to access and use coping skills.

Treatments for Disruptive Student Behaviors

  • Learning coping skills and finding sensory items that work to alleviate anxiety and disruptive behavior.
  • Therapy/medication - if the disruptive behaviors are the result of a diagnosable mental health issue.

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