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Jack LastStraw is disrupting your class
—what can you do about it?

Disruption of your class falls under what the Code of Academic Integrity calls academic misconduct.

Academic misconduct is any activity that disturbs the normal course of operations of the course—for example, in the classroom (disruptive behavior) or in an exam (disturbing others with loud talk).

Academic misconduct is not a violation of academic integrity.

You may impose a grade penalty for anything that you consider academic misconduct. No hearing of any kind is required, but you must promptly notify Jack of the reason for the charge and the grade penalty you are imposing. You do not notify the AIHB of your action, and you cannot ask the AIHB to review the case.

In our experience, charges of academic misconduct are rare.

What can Jack do in response?

Jack may ask to discuss the charge and penalty with you. It may be that the discussion resolves the issue and you decide to rescind the charge.

Jack can also appeal to the AIHB of your college, whether he discusses the issue with you or not.

He will have to argue to the AIHB that the charge of academic misconduct is arbitrary and capricious or that the penalty imposed is excessive or inappropriate. The Code states that, "'Arbitrary and capricious' describes actions that have no sound basis in law, fact, or reason or are grounded solely in bad faith or personal desires. A determination is arbitrary and capricious only if it is one no reasonable mind could reach." Basically, he will have to argue that you are being unreasonable.

If Jack appeals to the AIHB, you and Jack will be asked to attend an AIHB hearing. We suggest you read about the instructor's role at appeals to the AIHB. However, that discussion of your role is aimed more at appeals of findings of guilt and penalties for violations of academic integrity, which are more serious.