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Identifying Concerning Behavior

There are many behaviors that may cause concern for the safety and well-being of an individual or the campus as a whole. The following is not an exhaustive list but provides examples of concerning behaviors or situations:

  • Unusual or abrupt changes in behaviors or patterns;
  • Extreme reaction to a loss or traumatic event;
  • Preoccupation with weapons, violent events, or persons who have engaged in violent acts;
  • Uncharacteristically poor performance;
  • References to harming others or planning a violent or destructive event;
  • Evidence of depression, hopelessness, or suicidal thoughts/plans;
  • Inappropriate responses such as prolonged irritability, angry outbursts, or intense reactions;
  • Strained interpersonal relations, isolating behaviors, or low self-esteem;
  • Significant change in life circumstances such as loss of job or relationship.

Again, these are just examples of behaviors that may cause concern. If you observe or become aware of situations that cause concern for safety, consult with College officials, colleagues, supervisors and report your concerns. Also, if you have concerns about a person or situation, even if you think it may be nothing, you are encouraged to share the information. The information you provide, no matter how trivial it may seem by itself, may be critical to understanding a broader range of threatening behavior.

Source:Implementing Behavioral Threat Assessment on Campus, Marisa R. Randazzo, Ph.D., Ellen Plummer, Ph.D., November, 2009 

Reporting Your Concerns

Anyone who believes that an individual has committed or may commit an act of violence, is engaging in behavior or making statements that generate concern about the potential for violence, or otherwise may pose a threat to the health or safety of any member of the College community should call the Department of Public Safety immediately at 802.443.5911 (Vermont campus) or Campus Security at 831.647.4153 (MIIS campus). In case of an emergency, please dial 911. Reports may also be made to any member of the TAM Team. In situations where an individual has concerns about someone’s behavior but is unsure whether such behavior constitutes a “threat” to self or others, the individual should report the information to the Department of Public Safety (Vermont campus) or Campus Security (MIIS campus) or other Middlebury official, as appropriate, to allow Middlebury the opportunity to assess the situation and respond as necessary.