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Violence Prevention

If you suspect an individual may become violent:

  • Call 911.
  • Try to calm the person down, but don’t threaten.
  • Maintain an escape route and distance if a weapon is present.

If you encounter an already violent situation:

  • Evacuate and call 911. If you are unable to leave, seek shelter inside the building preferably behind a locked door in a room without windows.

Signs of distressed students or employees:

(Notify campus security, counseling staff, extended campus directors, or the associate vice
president of student services if you notice one or more of these behaviors.)

  • excessive unexplained absence
  • changes in behavior, hygiene or appearance
  • threats made against other individuals
  • threats of suicide
  • excessive or inappropriate anger
  • substance abuse
  • expressing unusual thoughts or exhibiting unusual behavior
  • plotting violence
  • behavioral or emotional changes
  • fascination with weapons
  • withdrawal

Best practices for handling employment actions:

  • Partner with the counseling center as you prepare to take actions, which are corrective or disciplinary in nature.
  • Have another supervisor in the room as a witness.
  • If there is a past history of volatile behavior, campus security personnel can be nearby during difficult meetings such as terminations.
  • Give consideration to the day of week/time of day for a difficult meeting to reduce the number of people who are potentially exposed.
  • Consider the location of a difficult meeting. If there is concern about volatile behavior, choose a private room with more than one exit.
  • For a difficult meeting, pre-screen the individual for behavior. Pre-screening involves the support staff greeting the individual and observing if there are any concerning behaviors upon arrival or departure.
  • Provide a cooling off period for employees who get angry or very upset during a meeting. Stop the meeting and consider paid administrative leave for 24-48 hours and a follow-up meeting.

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