Psychological Counseling Services
Dealing with Potentially Violent People
- Stay in an open, public area.
- Keep path clear between you and the door.
- Keep path clear between the student and the door.
- Provide the student with adequate personal space.
- Ask for more space if you feel your personal space is being violated.
- Explain clearly and directly what behaviors are acceptable (e.g., "You certainly have the right to be angry, but hitting/breaking this is not okay.")
- Remember your ADA and CAR guidelines.
- Remember that "calling in the boss" often calms someone down.
- Do be aware if others in your work space need assistance.
- Do routinely review with your work colleagues how you will support each other if the need arises.
- Take signs of agitation seriously.
- Debrief with those involved after an incident has occurred.
- Touch the student.
- Try to physically restrain a student.
- Hesitate to ask for help.
- Ignore warning signs that a person is about to explode (e.g., yelling, screaming, clenched fists, statements like, "Youíre leaving me no choice . . .").
- Tease, joke with, threaten, dare, taunt, or "push into a corner."