An exploration into the dynamics of violence in two schools in Phoenix Township, KwaZulu-Natal.
This was a qualitative, case study conducted in two township primary schools. Both schools are in the township of Phoenix in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The aim of this study was to investigate what are the dynamics of violence in two Phoenix township schools, what are the perceptions and experiences of educators, school governing bodies, learners and support staff about violence in two Phoenix township schools and finally what measures are taken by two Phoenix township schools to promote a violence-free environment. The study indicated that various forms of violent behavior are being played out during school time, including lesson time in view of the educators. The study examined the reasons why perpetrators of violence behave the way they do. The stakeholders that are affected most adversely by school violence are the victims who fear school, educators who are stressed and intimidated by threatening learners who abuse teaching time for disciplinary investigations and non-educators or support staff who get no respect from the learners. The members of the SGB and DSSC are affected to the extent that they have to hold disciplinary hearings and increase security measures at a high cost. Most parents seem unaffected by the violent incidents because the communities of the schools are generally violent and dangerous. The study showed that insufficient measures are being used to curb school violence. Evidence of apathy and a sense of hopelessness have exacerbated school violence. Recommendations were made for a collaborative effort from all stakeholders to rehabilitate all perpetrators. The education laws need review and added funding will facilitate effective security measures, smaller classes and appointments of school counselors. School violence is far too serious to be ignored. The immediate action from government, social services, police services, health services working with the schools can alleviate the crisis. Quality education needs restoration. The human right to a safe environment must be guaranteed to each person at every school.