Behavior Interventions For Aggressive Students

Behavior Interventions For Aggressive Students

Behavior Interventions For Aggressive StudentsEducation in the United States is a right provided to every child. A problem arises when children display aggressive behaviors and can be a danger to themselves or others. How should school systems and teachers handle aggressive behavior? Safety is of the utmost importance, and behavior should not be allowed to distract from the education of the other children in the classroom.

Problems with Aggressive Students

Why are children in a special needs classroom more prone to aggression? Some argue the cause is in their lack of communication, which in turn manifests itself in a behavior. It might be reflexive or biologically driven, but when children struggle to express themselves with standard forms of communication, they can be driven to express themselves with aggressive behaviors (Gill, E. 2015).
It is the responsibility of the school to provide an education, protect the children, and protect themselves from aggressive behavior. This difficult task can lead to frustration, especially for individual teachers. Many schools are fortunate enough to have specialists or extra staff certified to handle these cases, but for those that don’t, solutions are needed. Expulsion or missing any amount of school will only further interrupt the education of special needs children and breaking their routine can often lead to to a halt or reversal in progress.

Solutions for Aggression

Although there is certainly no cure-all that can be applied to every student in every classroom, there are best practices available. While extensive ongoing research is done, teachers can use these best practices to try to improve the classroom environment and curtail aggression. Eric Gill, writer for Hot Chalk Education Network states four techniques for controlling and avoiding behaviors in the classroom.
1. Identify the cause of the behavior, as it could be one of many or a combination of many reasons including
  • Boredom
  • Disrespect for authority figures
  • Physical, cognitive and biochemical disabilities and learning impairments.

2.Embrace special needs students

  • Compassion, empathy and understanding are crucial

3. Set high expectations for inclusive classrooms

  • Establish authority while projecting consistent fairness

4. Set goals for inclusive classrooms

  • Communicate clearly what will be learned, what will be expected, and what students will achieve each day
What have we learned?

Aggression in the classroom must be handled with intense teamwork between parents and teachers. Outside of best practices, teachers can also seek certified training and education. The Board Certified Behavior Analysts offers an undergraduate, graduate, and a doctoral level of certification.

The Behavior Analyst Certification Board is a nonprofit organization founded in 1998 that has accumulated substantial research in behavioral health. The BACB states “Practitioners of behavior analysis provide services consistent with the dimensions of ABA. Common services may include, but are not limited to, conducting behavioral assessments, analyzing data, writing and revising behavior-analytic treatment plans, training others to implement components of treatment plans, and overseeing the implementation of treatment plans. Behavior analysts are qualified to provide services to clients with a variety of needs, including improvements in organizational functioning, skill deficits (e.g., communication, adaptive behavior), and problem behavior (e.g., aggression, self-injurious behavior), among others.”(BACB).
With the behavior modifications tips above, parent involvement, and teachers dedicated to continuous learning, student aggression can be handled in the best possible way for the betterment of each individual student.
ABOUT THE BACB. (n.d.). Retrieved November 02, 2016, from
Gill, E. (2015, March 3). Behavior Management Techniques for Teachers: Inclusive Classrooms.Retrieved November 1, 2016, from