Jill Sharkey, Ph.D., Academic Coordinator for the School Psychology Program at UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz School, guest edited a special issue of the Journal of School Violence called “Designing school contexts in support of proactive discipline: Application to school violence.” The issue is accessible online.
The issue explores current challenges in school discipline and its relation to school violence as a rationale for designing prevention-oriented school contexts. School discipline is a critical issue, as disruptive behaviors significantly impact school climate and classroom instruction. Suspension is the most common school discipline response for problem behaviors ranging from mild to severe. However, suspension is ineffective in teaching alternative proactive behaviors, and may have the opposite effect of exacerbating undesirable behaviors. The special issue is intended to advance erudition about the application of suspension versus other discipline strategies in schools. Scholarship about the use of school suspension and viable alternatives (e.g., restorative justice and social cognitive approaches) is presented and critically discussed.
In addition to this guest editorship, Dr. Sharkey has been promoted to the position of Lecturer with Potential Security of Employment in the Department of Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology. In this position, Dr. Sharkey will continue to independently manage the School Psychology credential program. In addition to administrative duties, Dr. Sharkey teaches and mentors doctoral students in the school psychology emphasis. Her research examines school engagement of students at-risk with a particular focus on juvenile delinquency and gang involvement.