Contradictions and Ambiguities: School Management Teams’ Views on School-Based Violence in Urban South Africa

Tshilidzi Netshitangani


This article discusses the findings of a study conducted in Gauteng, South Africa. This qualitative study examined principals’ and educators’ notions in understanding school-based violence and school safety. Individual and focus group interviews were utilised to collect data from the school management teams (SMTs) that included school governing bodies (parent component). Among the major findings of the study, was that principals and educators have a diverse understanding and perception of the concept of violence, school-based violence as well as safety. The findings also suggest that there are divergent views on bullying; some educators maintain it is a normal occurrence while others believe that it is a problem that needs to be resolved. School safety is not always perceived as urgent even though there might be frequent violent acts happening at the schools. The article recommends the development of school policies that address the different forms of school violence. In addition, there must be intensive training for school-based professionals in order for them to have effective strategies to combat violence in schools. Violence affects teaching and learning; it is then crucial to underscore effective strategies that need to be pursued right from initial teacher education.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n27p782

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This work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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