By Rachel Wayne, CLAS Office of Communications
Faculty in UF’s Department of Psychology and the Lastinger Center for Learning have received a $1 million NIJ grant to implement a 36-month pilot anti-violence program for School Resource Officers (SROs) in Miami-Dade Public Schools. The program incorporates contemporary research in child development, bullying, and intervention techniques to offer a culturally competent, restorative approach to youth violence.
Bullying and other interpersonal violence are pervasive problems in schools, and previous approaches, such as zero-tolerance and penal policies, have not been backed up by research. UF psychologist Dorothy Espelage, the principal investigator of the project, studies bullying in the context of adolescent social navigations and school politics of gender, sexuality, and ethnicity. To wit, the project seeks to add LGBTQ sensitivity and an understanding of social-emotional learning to SROs’ toolkit.