School violence linked to violent homes – researcher

2012-10-24 11:12

A recent increase in violence between school pupils is directly related to incidents of violence in their homes and communities, a researcher has said.

“The different models of behaviour that young people are exposed to and the levels of care that they receive play an influential role in determining violent outcomes for youth,” said Centre for Justice and Crime Prevention researcher Lezanne Leoschut.

“Findings highlight the association between violence occurring within schools and that occurring elsewhere, for example in young people’s homes and communities in which they live.”

It was reported today that four pupils stabbed each other during a school lunch break in Mitchells Plain, Cape Town.

The Aloe Junior High pupils were taken to a day hospital, where one of them was in a serious condition.

Three of them were in Grade 9 and the other was in Grade 7.

In a separate incident, two youths were to appear in the Mossel Bay Magistrates’ Court today for the death of a 19-year-old at a school in the area.

Thabani Mntini was stabbed in the face and chest at Hillcrest Secondary School on Monday.

It was also reported today that Grade 8 pupil Nkosingiphile Ngcamu was stabbed to death by a group of teenagers at Umlulama Secondary School in Hopewell, Pietermaritzburg. He died on his way to hospital.

On Monday a 15-year-old youth appeared in the Pretoria Magistrates’ Court after allegedly stabbing 16-year-old Donald Molefe to death at the Berea Park Independent School.

The two, who were friends, allegedly got into a fight over a pencil during second break.

Molefe’s death was reportedly filmed on cellphones by his friends and was circulated on YouTube.

Leoschut said pupils who grew up in a violent environment often regarded it as a “socially accepted means of engaging with others”.

“Ongoing media coverage continuously draws attention to the spate of violence-related incidents within schools in South Africa, resulting in the search for answers as to why this scenario continues to occur,” she said.

“There is a dearth of reliable national level data on school violence in the country, which may go a long way in explaining this.”

Leoschut said the only legitimate study on school violence was released by her centre in 2008.

“The (centre) is currently in the process of conducting a follow-up to this 2008 study,” she said.

“This repeated study ... also provides the opportunity to explore new and emerging forms of violence perpetrated against youth, such as cyberaggression and bullying.”


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