Aggressive/Potentially Violent Behavior

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Facts About Aggression

  • Behavior falls along the continuum from threats to verbal abuse to physical abuse and violence.
  • It is very difficult to predict aggression and violence.
  • Possible indicators of potential violence may include:
    • Paranoia and mistrust
    • An unstable academic or employment hi​​story
    • A history of juvenile violence or substance abuse
    • Prior history of violence or abuse
    • Fascination with weapo​ns​​
    • History of cruelty to animals as a child
    • Impulse control problem
    • Fire-starting behavior

What You Can Do

  • Assess your level of safety. If you feel that you or others may be in danger, remove yourself from the situation and call Public Safety at 401.865.2222.
  • If you feel it is appropriate to stay with the student, remain in an open area with a visible means of escape (sit closest to the door).
  • Enlist the help of a co-worker or another student.
  • Stay calm and set limits; describe to the student behaviors that are unacceptable.
  • If the student refuses to cooperate and remains aggressive or agitated, ask the student to reschedule a meeting with you once he/she has calmed down.
  • Consult with professionals at Personal Counseling 401.865.2343 or the Dean of Students Office 401.865.1782.​

What You Should Avoid Doing

  • Remaining in a situation in which you feel unsafe.
  • Meeting alone or in a secluded space with the student.
  • Engaging in a screaming match or behaving in other ways that escalate anxiety and aggression.
  • Ignoring signs that a student’s anger is e​scalating.
  • Touching the student or crowding his or her sense of personal space.
  • Ignoring your intuition that tells you that you or others are in danger.​