A study of the bullying cycle in a primary school : experiences of bullied children becoming bullies.
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t has become evident that bullying is on the rise in schools world-wide. Bullying (a form of violence) is a violation of one`s rights according to the South African Constitution (Bill of Rights). South Africa’s Bill of Rights states that “Everyone has the right to be free from all forms of violence, on the part of either the government or other sources; not to be tortured in any way; and not to be treated or punished in a cruel, inhuman or degrading way” (Department of Basic Education, 2012, p. 2). Dealing with bullying can be challenging for school authorities as it infringes on the safety of children. To gain insight into bullying in schools, this study explored the experiences of bullied children who become bullies. Qualitative research methods were used to generate data. The interpretive paradigm was used to analyse data collected. Six participants participated and data was collected by means of questionnaires, journal/diary entries and non-participatory observations. Data was thematically analysed using the bio-ecological theory as a lens through which the data were viewed and interpreted. The findings revealed that children who are bullied also become bullies. It is important for educators and parents to be vigilant and intervene because many bullying acts occur when supervision (by parents or teacher) is minimal. It is evident that all participants are aware that bullying is harmful and has negative consequences for both the perpetrator and victim. Even though children are aware of the dangers of bullying, it still persists. This study explored whether or not bullying is a cycle that is perpetuated, by exploring the experiences of children who may be victims of bullying or are bullies themselves or both.
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