Responding to a Student's Threatening Behavior
Factors Contributing to Aggressive Behavior
There is no single explanation for aggressive behavior and many different factors contribute to it. Factors associated with aggressive behavior include:
- History of physical fighting or vandalism
- History of drug or alcohol abuse
- Discovery of detailed plans to commit violence
- Making direct, veiled or conditional threats of violence
- History of controlling others
- Excessive need for attention or respect
- Feelings of low self-worth
- Early childhood abuse or neglect
- Witnessing violence at home, in the community or in the media
- History of being bullied
- Easy access to weapons
If you have concerns that a student might become aggressive in the future, and if you decide to speak with the student privately, use the following:
- Leave your office door open.
- Alert a nearby colleague in advance.
- Be simple and direct as you speak.
- Express your concern to the student citing the worrisome behaviors you have observed.
- Be non-judgemental.
- Be consistent.