What is the Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT)?
The BIT is dedicated to a proactive, coordinated, and planned approach to the identification, prevention, assessment, management, and reduction of interpersonal and behavioral threats to the safety and well-being of Lee College community. The Core Team meets regularly to review referrals brought forward by faculty, staff, and students regarding behaviors of individuals that can be concerning, disruptive, or threatening — behaviors that potentially impede their own or others’ ability to function successfully or safely.
What the BIT is NOT:
- The BIT is not a crisis response/management team. For immediate assistance, you should call security or law enforcement.
- The BIT process does not handle faculty classroom management issues, but may be able to help faculty with resources or support.
- While the BIT may possibly make threat assessments, the goal is to help students get support and guidance before there is a greater threat. It’s estimated that 80 percent of the BIT referrals will be at the mild or moderate threat level.
- The BIT is separate from conduct and is not involved with discipline. If needed, the BIT may refer students to the disciplinary process.
If you have a life threatening emergency dial 911 first. Then notify Lee College’s Security Office at 281.425.6888.
What should I do if I think someone is in immediate danger either to themselves or someone else (e.g., potentially suicidal or threatening someone)?
If you think that someone is a danger to themselves or others, please call 911 or Lee College Security at 281.425.6888 immediately.
Should I approach the student first?
Whenever possible, you should express your concern(s) directly with the individual. However, if you are uncomfortable in approaching the person, access intervention from people who are trained in these areas.
The most important step is that you report any potential issue. If another campus resource is more appropriate, the Behavioral Intervention Team will refer the student and handle the transfer of information.
What should I report?
In general, any behavior that raises concern for a student’s well-being should be reported. There are three key categories of behavior that are of utmost concern to the BIT:
- Self-injurious behavior (e.g., suicidal thoughts/attempt, cutting behavior, dangerous alcohol/substance consumption, etc.)
- Disruptive behavior that violates campus safety (e.g., homicidal threats, stalking, assault, email/Blackboard bullying, carrying weapons, etc.)
- Unusual behavior (e.g., changes in personality, depressive symptoms, shifts in mood, unexplained irritability and/or lethargy, hopelessness, etc.)
Once an incident is reported to the BIT, members of the Committee determine the appropriate steps to address the situation. This process is based on the severity of the concern, the ability of the person in question to engage in the resolution, and the situation.
The BIT website includes other information including “red flag” behaviors that may need an intervention. Behaviors of concern might be observed in a number of different locations and not just the classroom.
What are some examples of situations that should be reported to BIT?
- You notice that your student has a pattern of making unrelated/incoherent statements to the material presented during class.
- A student comes to class often appearing disheveled, withdrawn, minimally interacting with others, preoccupied, and/or sad (a marked change from previous his or her previous appearance or behaviors).
- You receive a note, email, or assignment that includes statements that seem concerning to you. Examples include having problems at home, trouble finding a place to live, not having enough to eat, or any other statements that you are concerned about.
- NOTE: If there is a statement made regarding the intent to harm self or others, contact Campus Security immediately (281.425.6888)
What if I’m not sure if I should report the concern?
It’s often a mistake to assume disruptive behavior will stop in its own. It is preferable to document and respond to small incidents sooner rather than later. You are registering a concern based on an observed behavior (e.g., verbal exchange, action, etc.). You are not making a determination. Let the Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT) weigh the information and see if a further investigation is warranted and the team will make the determination
Who can submit a report?
Anyone can report a concern about an individual. In other words, all students and college community members are encouraged to report a concern.
How do I report concerning behaviors?
It is the responsibility of individuals within the campus community to immediately report any concerning behaviors. Each report will be reviewed for appropriate action. There are several ways an individual can be referred to the BIT.
- Complete the online referral form
- Complete a report through the online reporting tool, Convercent
- Make a report directly with one of the Core Team members.
Can I submit a report anonymously?
You are encouraged to identify yourself to assist the BIT if clarification or additional information is needed. Submitting your name also gives your report more credence. Regardless of the reporting party’s anonymity, all reports will be evaluated and investigated to assist the individual and ensure the safety of the campus community.
Will the student know that I am the person who reported her/him to BIT?
BIT will attempt to handle all matters discreetly. A reported individual will be given specific information about the behaviors/actions that occurred so they can respond to the reported concern. Therefore, it is possible that an individual may know who made the report through the circumstances described to him or her.
How will I know that the situation has been addressed?
BIT will address every report that is brought to the committee. Interventions by BIT members typically involve handling of confidential information, so those filing reports will not necessarily know the resolution of a situation. If you have concerns, please contact the chair of the BIT, Dr. Rosemary Coffman (email@example.com).
Although the action / outcome will depend upon the situation, the BIT will intervene in support of the person of concern, as well as in support of College policies and procedures.
What happens to a student once they have been referred to BIT?
The Team will review all information available about a student, including the insight that you provide. Based upon the collected information, an action plan will be developed. The plan may range from maintaining a confidential file to intervening with the student and conducting a formal threat assessment. The majority of plans connect the student with resources and assistance to address the concerning behavior and to help him/her be successful in the continuation of his/her college career. The plan may change and evolve as additional information becomes available.
How will I know what happens after I make the referral?
Due to respect for an individual’s privacy, you may not know what happens after the referral. You can be confident that we all share the common goal of helping our campus community. If you have specific questions about the referral, please call the BIT Chair, Dr. Rosemary Coffman at 281.425.6387 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
What about confidentiality and FERPA?
The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act, otherwise known as FERPA, provides students’ rights of access to their education records and insures that such records will not be disclosed to others without their prior written consent.
Recently enacted changes to FERPA give college officials greater flexibility in releasing student information in the case of a health and safety emergency. With such cases, FERPA permits sharing of information among College officials. Since the BIT is responsible for identifying, responding to, and supporting at risk students, please be advised that health and safety emergencies may require disclosure of student education records to protect the health or safety of the campus community.