Aggression and Potential Violence


Call 911 if there is immediate danger.

UCPD911 or 805-893-3446

Office of Judicial Affairs: (805) 893-5016

Student Mental Health Coordination Services:(805) 893-3030

Counseling & Psychological Services: (805) 893-4411

24/7 After-Hours Phone Counseling/Consultation: (805) 893-4411

Some of the most difficult situations involve dealing with potential danger to self or others, especially when the danger is associated with aggressive behavior. Aggressive behavior occurs in many contexts and varies from verbal abuse to severe physical abuse. In most situations it is difficult to predict aggression until the person’s behavior changes.

When you encounter an aggressive or potentially violent student:


  1. Determine if you feel safe with the student. If you feel unsafe, remove yourself from the situation and call 911.
  2. Remain in an open area, preferably with an exit door near you.
  3. Directly and clearly explain the behaviors which are acceptable and unacceptable.
  4. Instruct the student to lower his/her voice if s/he is screaming.
  5. Stay calm and gain control of the situation by clearly setting limits and addressing the issue of concern.
  6. Tell him/her to make an appointment with you after s/he has calmed down.
  7. Debrief the situation with a colleague.
  8. Consult with UCPD regarding safety measures.
  9. Contact the Office of Judicial Affairs for assistance if you are feeling harassed and intimidated and/or the student’s behavior is disruptive.
  10. Consult with Student Mental Health Coordination Services regarding appropriate referrals.
  11. Consult with Counseling & Psychological Services.


  1. Remain in a place you do not feel is safe.
  2. Engage in a screaming match.
  3. Make promises you cannot keep.
  4. Ignore warning signs that the person’s anger is escalating.
  5. Threaten, dare, taunt or back a student into a corner.
  6. Allow yourself to be backed into a corner.
  7. Touch the student or crowd his/her personal space.
  8. Meet alone with the student.