Learners' experiences of bullying : a qualitative study of a primary school in Inanda, North of Durban.
This is a qualitative study of boys’ and girls’ understanding and experiences of bullying in a co-educational primary school at Inanda near Durban in KwaZulu Natal. The study intended to obtain the problems of bullying by investigating both male and female learners’ experiences of bullying in the school context. Bullying is one of the major issues facing educators, learners and school communities. The main objective of the study was to unfold forms of bullying that are facing learners, factors that contribute to bullying, effects of bullying in the lives of learners as well as strategies which can be utilised to eradicate bullying in the school context. The study used a qualitative case study research approach. Semi-structured individual and focus group interviews were used as the method of data collection. Five boys and five girls participated in the study. The study found that bullying is a pervasive problem in this school. Boys usually engage in physical forms of bullying, such as hitting, punching and kicking, and girls usually engage in more verbal form of bullying such as insulting, name calling and spreading rumours as well as cyber bullying. The study found out that these forms of bullying affect learners physically, emotionally and psychologically. Gender, age, economic status and sexuality were found to be contributing to bullying in this school. The school playground was also identified as the place where bullying usually occur. The findings indicated that gender discourses play a major role in perpetuating bullying in this school, as boys try to exercise their power over girls. The study suggested ways that could be employed to address bullying in schools. These include various stake holders working together with the aim of eradicating bullying in the school. The study suggested that teachers, parents, police, nurses and social workers are relevant people who can bring awareness of the problem and help to reduce bullying in the school.