Dealing with Potentially Violent People

Dealing with Potentially Violent People

Do's

  1. Stay in an open, public area.
  2. Keep path clear between you and the door.
  3. Keep path clear between the student and the door.
  4. Provide the student with adequate personal space.
  5. Ask for more space if you feel your personal space is being violated.
  6. 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.")
  7. Remember your ADA and CAR guidelines.
  8. Remember that "calling in the boss" often calms someone down.
  9. Do be aware if others in your work space need assistance.
  10. Do routinely review with your work colleagues how you will support each other if the need arises.
  11. Take signs of agitation seriously.
  12. Debrief with those involved after an incident has occurred.

Don'ts

  1. Touch the student.
  2. Try to physically restrain a student.
  3. Hesitate to ask for help.
  4. Ignore warning signs that a person is about to explode (e.g., yelling, screaming, clenched fists, statements like, "You'­re leaving me no choice . . .").
  5. Tease, joke with, threaten, dare, taunt, or "push into a corner."