Wheaton College is committed to the safety of its students, faculty, staff, and visitors. The Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT) serves as the centralized body for discussion and action regarding students where concerns are raised and may be at risk of harming either themselves or others, or who pose a significant disruption to the living, learning or work environment. The BIT team reviews reports of threats and other concerning student behavior for the purpose of developing a support plan that mitigates risk and promotes student well-being and success within existing college policies.
The core responsibility of the school’s BIT is to review and investigate reported information and assess whether the student of concern poses a threat of violence or other threat to the community. The team also can assess whether student behavior that does not pose a threat can be addressed through other resources and services.
The Team’s Responsibilities, include but are not limited to:
- Receive, review, and respond to concerns regarding student behavior that is potentially harmful and/or disruptive to the college community
- Maintain record of the initial report and response of the team
- Perform initial assessment of risk and develop a proactive support plan, within existing college policies, to mitigate risk and promote student well-being and success. Provide follow-up and assessment of the determined support plan
- Follow Title IX requirements for reviewing reports of sexual or gender-based misconduct, under the direction of the Title IX Coordinator
- Make recommendations for action and share information with college faculty, staff and others, as appropriate, to assist with managing potentially harmful or disruptive behavior
- Educate the college community on the Behavioral Intervention Teams (BIT) process and how to identify and report student behaviors of concern
- Identify College policy and procedural issues and recommend changes to appropriate entities
- Review Behavioral Intervention Teams (BIT) procedures and protocols, and assess team effectiveness and compliance with college policies.
Please note that the concern form is not constantly monitored and any emergencies or threats to individual or community safety should be reported to Campus Safety immediately at 508-286-3333.
Who is on the Behavior Intervention Team?
- Associate Vice President for Student Affairs (Chair)
- Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
- Assistant Dean of Students
- Director of Campus Safety
- Title IX Coordinator and Bias Response Officer
- Associate Dean of Wellness and Director of the Counseling Center
- Assistant Dean for Residential Life
- Associate Vice President of Legal Affairs (non-voting member)
- Lt. Detective, Campus Safety (non-voting member)
What types of reports are reviewed by the Behavior Intervention Team?
The Team will review and discuss reports that may or may not be implicating College policy, that details behavior that may be threatening or disruptive to self, others, or the community as a whole. This may include, but not limited to reports regarding:
- Change in behavior
- Pattern of concerning or erratic behavior
- Direct or indirect threats of safety towards self or others
- Direct or indirect threats of safety towards the college community or local community
- Behavior that may be disruptive to the living and learning environment at the college
- Bias Incidents (targeted, safety or community impacting)
- A referral by the CARE Team for a student and/or concern that requires elevated and immediate intervention.
What are the procedures when a report is submitted to the Behavior Intervention Team?
Procedures have been established to determine the general operations of the Behavior Intervention Team, how cases are immediately assessed for threat, followed-up with, documented, and the actions and recommendations deemed appropriate.
Assess Reported Information
- Conduct an initial review of reported information and determine whether the student’s behavior indicates an immediate threat of violence or harm to self or others.
If yes, promptly refer these most serious reports to the local law enforcement and Campus Safety
- Internal and on-call staff to follow role-specific protocols for communicating individual or community concerns to Campus Safety, local law enforcement and/or supervisors for additional assessment
- A person with information that could indicate a need for BIT referral will ensure communication of that information directly to the BIT Chair. For after-hours or time sensitive concerns, information should be reported promptly to Campus Safety who remains available 24/7
- The respective BIT member with information about a potential threat will assess all known information and contact immediate resources, as appropriate
Meeting of Behavior Intervention and Threat Assessment Team
- Members of the BIT will convene as soon as possible around any reports indicating threat to self or others.
- Any substantiated threats to self or others will prompt an immediate call to local law enforcement.
- Situationally dependent, A BIT connection should happen within 24-48 hours, if not immediately. All cases referred to the BIT will also be reviewed in a weekly meeting, including those that may not indicate a time-sensitive concern.
- The team will discuss: (a) The information that is known about the current report and alleged threat, and (b) Information available regarding the student, their academic and conduct record, housing assignments, other involvements and information available.
- At the conclusion of the discussion, each member of the team will have a vote in terms of next steps that the Team may take to address the report and alleged threat(s):
- When possible, help reduce the student’s stressors or change the student’s motive. Identify resources the school can provide to assess the student, including counseling, tutoring, mentorship, etc.
- If interim action in terms of removal or suspension is determined necessary, remember that removal from the school does not remove the threat. Develop strategies to start connecting to the student to continue to monitor their behavior.
- Work with law enforcement or the student’s family to remove access to weapons, as applicable.
- Follow-up and continue to monitor the case until the threat of violence no longer exists or the concern is addressed.
- If the student does not pose a threat but may otherwise benefit from other resources and services, identify those resources and services and help them access them.
- If the student does not pose a threat and does not require additional support, conclude the inquiry.
- Each report must be documented along with the team’s decisions and actions.