The voices of victims and witnesses of school bullying


Anti-Bullying Programmes
Learner Security
School Bullying


There has never been a stronger demand from the South African public to reduce school violence than at present. The demand for safe schools cannot be achieved unless the issue of bullying is adequately addressed. However, it appears from newspaper reports that some of the role players are not willing to listen to the victims of bullying. The aim of this article is to give a voice to some of the victims, as well as those witnessing school bullying. This article reports on findings from an investigation of the experiences of a group of Free State learners who were witnesses and victims of bullying. The research instrument was the Delaware Bullying Questionnaire. The first important conclusion from this study was that bullying was a serious problem in some Free State schools. Secondly, it was found that the respondents were more often the victims of male than of female bullies. Thirdly, the quantitative data indicated that the majority of victims were bullied by learners who were in the same grade as they were. The qualitative data, however, revealed that the bullying of Grade 8 learners by Grade 12 learners seems to be a fairly common occurrence. Finally, some comments and recommendations are made.

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