Behavioral Intervention Team

Vision Statement:

The Behavioral Intervention Team at South Texas College is a highly trained panel of professionals advancing campus safety and collegiality for the South Texas College Community.

Purpose Statement:

The Behavioral Intervention Team at South Texas College is a district wide threat assessment and behavioral intervention team that monitors threats to the campus community and intervenes in the concerning behaviors of all individuals who work at, attend, or who have business with South Texas College. The Team serves the district-wide community by providing threat assessment, case management, intervention strategies, educational opportunities, and training for all students, faculty and staff.

Behavioral Intervention Team Values

  • Student Success
  • Innovation
  • Community
  • Collaboration
  • Diversity
  • Education
  • Empowerment
  • Inclusion
  • Integrity
  • Leadership
  • Respect

South Texas College endeavors to provide and maintain a safe and healthy environment for students, employees and visitors. When an individual exhibits behavior that is overly aggressive or threatening to others, it is disruptive to the mission of the College and may be indicative of future and potentially escalated threats to the College community. To identify and monitor behaviors of concern the College has instituted the Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT).

If you would like to make a report to Violations of the Student Code of Conduct (Including Academic Dishonesty), Odd, Concerning, or Threatening Behavior to the Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT) you should:

Report Concerning or Threatening Behavior

In an emergency your first call should be to 911 or the STC Security Department at 872-4444

As a member of the College community, you are responsible for reporting behavior that is unusual or threatening – even if you do not perceive the risk as immediately dangerous. To report concerns that may not pose immediate threats, use the link above or contact one of the departments below:

Security: 872-4444
Student Conduct Administration: 872-3535
Counseling: 872-8372
Human Resources: 872-3646

Why Do We Need A BIT?

Legal agencies and research gathered from institutional tragedies strongly support that educational institutions must address campus safety in a much more unified, planned, and proactive manner than ever before. It is no longer acceptable for higher education institutions to not have a centralized campus team and system to help identify individuals in distress early, and connect these individuals with appropriate resources and provide follow-up care.

The BIT coordinates STC’s resources to address the needs of individuals who are experiencing significant behavioral disturbances in order to recommend collaborative and purposeful interventions. The BIT seeks to do away with the “information silos” that exist on campus by sharing information, which allows us to reach individuals who are in distress much sooner.

The mission of the BIT is to assess circumstances, enhance communication, and initiate appropriate responses to specific behavioral problems of students and employees that pose a potential threat to the safety and security of the College community.

The BIT meets frequently to review and assess behaviors of concern. The team will also meet as needed in emergency situations requiring immediate response.

Who Should I Refer?

You should refer individuals who are exhibiting behaviors that pose a threat to safety or that cause a significant disruption to the STC community. Signs to look for include:

  • Self-injurious behavior.
  • Suicide ideation or attempt.
  • Danger or threat to others (violence, threats or implied threats of violence and intimidation).
  • Possession of a weapon.
  • Inability of an individual to take care of themselves (serious mental health concerns or substance abuse).
  • Erratic behavior that is disruptive to the normal proceedings of the College Community.

The South Texas College Security department also offers safety training workshops. For more information contact Paul Varville at 956-872-2330

What Happens After an Incident is Reported?

The intention of the BIT is not to punish or single-out individuals. The BIT was developed to assist individuals who are in need of guidance or services.

  1. When a referral is received, the BIT will conduct an inquiry which may include interviewing witnesses and reviewing any supporting documentation.
  2. Once the initial inquiry is completed, the BIT will conduct a threat assessment using the NaBITA Threat Assessment Tool. Acts of targeted violence typically follow a logical progression of behavior (Ideation-Planning-Acquisition-Implementation). Threat Assessment is a systematic process that is designed to identify persons of concern, gather and assess information and develop strategies to manage the situation.
  3. Once the threat assessment is complete the BIT will determine what action, if any, needs to be taken. The BIT will take into consideration the individual’s best interest as well as the best interest of the College community.

Who is a ‘Person of Concern’?

A person of concern is any member of the South Texas College community dealing with an emotional, psychological or physical crisis that may interfere with his or her ability to continue attending classes or working at South Texas College.

Situations individuals face that may be cause for concern include:

  • Ongoing alcohol and/or drug use
  • Financial hardship
  • Hospitalization for physical or mental health reasons
  • Injury or accident affecting physical and/or mental ability to do course work
  • Potential threat to themselves or others

Signs of a person of concern may include but are not limited to:

  • Physical health issues
  • Current or emerging mental health issues
  • Challenges with academic schedule
  • Social adjustment
  • Family matters
  • Policy violations

 Direct Communicated Threats

  • Social media picture postings that involve a weapon being brandished
  • Bullying or intimidating behavior (may include both the target and the perpetrator of these behaviors)
  • Disruptive behavior that includes threatening gestures, physical intimidation or aggressive outbursts
  • Potential “off color” jokes or veiled statements: “I should blow this place up!”, “I’m going to go off like that Korean kid at V-Tech.”
  • Threatening writings or drawings

Observable Behaviors/Language/Factors

  • Para-weapon or dangerous material possession like airsoft guns, the Anarchist’s Cookbook, swords, knife collections, etc.
  • Psychotic, delusional or schizophrenic talk: “I am Hitler/Jesus”, “The people in the chairs don’t swim like the others”, “I can’t cry on Tuesdays”
  • Disruptive behavior that is perceived as overly rude, entitled or includes threatening gestures, physical intimidation or aggressive outbursts
  • Odd, strange or concerning writings or drawings
  • Bloody or violence-filled tattoos
  • Lack of empathy or objectification of others

Contextual Environmental Factors

  • Obsessional pursuit and stalking
  • Return to campus following involuntary commitment or hospitalization
  • Rapid change in previously upsetting behavior without explanation
  • Elevated “contagional” response regarding other extreme events

Signs of Distress

Behaviors often reflecting distress include:

  • Loss of academic efficiency, serious grade problems; excessive absences; marked change in previous level of performance
  • Withdrawal, significant relational/social isolation; not leaving residence hall room for sustained periods
  • Anxiety, pacing, muscle tension, sweating, etc; and impaired thinking: worrying, ruminating, easily distracted, etc.
  • Depression, excessive crying, fatigue, change of appetite, disturbed or excessive sleeping, change in hygiene, negative thinking along themes of hopelessness and helplessness
  • Dramatic increase in alcohol or drug use
  • Bizarre or out of the ordinary behavior, acting out, emotional outburst, loss of rationality, venting, screaming, swearing, high energy output (Psychological/Behavioral Emergency)
  • Intimidation, individual is verbally or nonverbally threatening (Psychological/Behavioral Emergency)

Faculty and staff should note that all members of the South Texas College community are expected to act towards one another with sensitivity, consideration, understanding, appreciation, tolerance, civility, and an active concern for one another. The College is particularly concerned that its members show respect for others regardless of race, creed, religion, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, nationality, and other characteristics protected by law.

Psychological/Behavioral Emergency

On rare occasion, you may find yourself with an individual who is experiencing extreme distress so as to pose a possible danger to themselves or others. Such cases are psychological/behavioral emergencies that require immediate intervention. Signs of an emergency include:

  • Threatening to harm self or others
  • Acting out
  • Emotional outburst
  • Loss of rationality
  • Venting, screaming, swearing, etc.
  • High energy output

If the individual is in significant distress but not in a life-threatening situation, call 956-872-2173 or 1-800-742-7822 for assistance and ask to speak to a counselor.

General Guidelines for Managing a Psychological/Behavioral Emergency 

If the crisis is life threatening or if the student’s behavior is extreme:

  • Call 911 and convey to the dispatcher that this is a life-threatening situation and that appropriate assistance is needed.
  • If others are present, escort the individual to a private area or hallway or ask others to step away.
  • Be calm, clear and simple.
  • After the situation has been resolved, notify the Behavioral Intervention Team by completing the Student Conduct Incident Report Form – SCIRF so that follow up can be initiated.

If you feel threatened or intimidated:

  • Call 911 and convey to the dispatcher that you need help immediately. If you are in the classroom, send a specific student to go for help. Campus Police can be reached at 956-872-2589 or 911 from a mobile phone.
  • Wait for assistance.
  • Keep a safe distance and don’t move toward the student.
  • Do not attempt an intervention. Intervening at this point may trigger physical acting out behavior and jeopardize your safety and the safety of others around you.
  • After the situation has been resolved, notify the Behavioral Intervention Team by completing the Student Conduct Incident Report Form – SCIRF so that follow up can be initiated.
These verbal intervention tips may help you:
Remain calm Overreact
Isolate the situation Get in a power struggle
Enforece the limits Make false promises
Listen Fake attention
Be aware of non verbals Be threatening
Be consistent Use jargon

Please Note:

  1. South Texas College will pursue disciplinary, civil or criminal action as appropriate under the circumstances against any person who engages in violence, threats of violence, or intimidation.
  2. South Texas College prohibits retaliation against persons who make reports in good faith.
  3. Individuals who file knowingly false or misleading reports or provide knowingly false or misleading information in an inquiry may face disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from the College.