Teacher and pupil perceptions of bullying behaviour in Model C primary schools in the Pietermaritzburg area.
The aim of this study was to conduct preliminary research into the nature and extent of bullying behaviour in primary schools in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal. A questionnaire, based on the published results of the Modified Olweus Questionnaire (Smith and Sharp, 1994), was constructed. A further questionnaire was devised in order to gain insight into teacher perceptions of bullying behaviour. A sample of 259 pupils (97 boys and 161 girls) completed the pupil's questionnaire. 37 teachers (6 male, 28 female and 3 who did not state their sex) completed the teacher questionnaire. The resulting data from both questionnaires was analysed in terms of frequencies as well as percentages. The data obtained from the pupils was investigated by gender, grade and school using the Pearson Product Moment Correlation Co-efficient. The aim of this was to obtain a statistical indication of the significance of the difference in answers to the pupils' questionnaire in terms of these variables. Only significant correlations are discussed. It is noted that there are no other published research figures from South Africa concerning bullying in schools to support the results of this study. Nevertheless this study does suggest the possibility of much higher bullying levels existing in South Africa than have been shown to occur by researchers in the United Kingdom and Scandinavia. It is important for educators in this country to take cognisance of this situation and begin to build a body of South African research both on bullying behaviour and on prevention programmes.