School violence in secondary schools : guidelines for the establishment of health promoting schools
Ten years after the introduction of the new democratic political dispensation in 1994, violence in schools are as rife as before. There has been no significant decrease in school violence during this period. Violence has only increased and become part of people's everyday lives. School violence remains a serious problem for both learners and educators. Various factors contribute to school violence and it has become necessary to determine to what extent school violence influences the learners of South Africa. Education is available for everyone to utilize. For learners to achieve optimally, safe environments need to be created. In order to eradicate the problem of school violence, it is important to know what the concept school violence entails, which factors contribute to school violence and to what extent school violence has influenced the schools up to date. It is also important to keep track of international trends which promote health in schools globally. Health is undoubtedly linked to educational achievement. The World Health Organization has initiated a project to promote health and healthy lifestyles universally. To counteract the persisting violence in schools, the possibility of creating health promoting schools in South Africa deserves attention. In order to unravel the phenomenon of violence in schools, a qualitative method of research was used, with data being collected by means of focus-group interviews, through intentional sampling. The transcriptions were subjected to descriptive analysis. The findings of the research are presented with an overview of school violence in the West Rand region. Factors contributing to school violence in this region have been identified as: drug and alcohol abuse, gangsterism, gambling, intolerance and the influence of educators. Physical and Psychological violence are the two main categories of violence identified in this region with various sub-categories which include fighting, harassment, sexual abuse, intimidation and victimization which enhance the violence and violent behaviour in this region. A nation's wealth lies within the youth of a country. They assure the future and our children are the most important natural resources we possess, therefore we need to respond to the challenges -violent behaviour and crime in our schools.
- ETD@PUK 
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