How safe are our kids at school?

2013-04-17 14:20


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - One in five secondary school pupils has experienced some form violence while at school, the Centre for Justice and Crime Prevention (CJCP) said on Wednesday.

"This translates to just over a million learners across the country," CJCP research director Lezanne Leoschut said in Johannesburg.

"The study suggests that schools pose a considerable risk of violence for children across the country."

Leoschut was presenting the results of a CJCP study on violence in schools in the 12 months between August 2011 and August 2012.

A total of 121 high schools across the country were randomly selected and 5 939 children, 121 principals and 239 teachers were surveyed.

The study focused on four specific types of violence - threats of violence, assault, sexual assault, and robbery.

"Assault is the second most common form of violence experienced," said Leoschut.

Robbery was the least common form of violence.

Threatened at school

The study showed that one in 10 pupils had been threatened with violence at school. One in 20 children had been a victim of robbery.

Leoschut said although threats of violence did not result in physical injuries, they caused psychological damage.

"Threats are important since the psychological harm and fear associated with it is substantial and may impact negatively on the schooling," she said.

One in 16 participants had reported being a victim of physical assault, and one in 20 pupils of sexual assault or rape.

Around 20.9% of pupils reported online or cyber bullying. Theft was reported by 44.1% of children.

Leoschut said the most common place for violence to occur was in the classroom, followed by the playgrounds or sport fields.

"Educators are often absent, which often leaves the learners open and vulnerable for violence."

Pupils also reported violence more, mostly to their teachers, she said.

Corporal punishment was still a problem, and was reported by 49.8% of the children surveyed. This was up from 47.5% in 2008.

Leoschut said the study found that exposure to crime increased the risk of victimisation.

Recent reports

CJCP executive director Patrick Burton said levels of violence in schools were high, but had stayed the same between 2008, when the study was first conducted, and 2012.

Recent violence reported by the media includes a 16-year-old girl being stabbed in the neck, allegedly by another 16-year-old girl, during break at Dr Malan Hoërskool in Meyerton, south of Johannesburg, on Tuesday.

In Cape Town, a pupil accused of firing shots at two fellow pupils is scheduled to appear in the Wynberg Magistrate's Court on 19 April.

On 5 March, a 15-year-old girl accused of stabbing another teen dead appeared in the Randfontein Magistrate's Court.

The Grade 9 pupil allegedly stabbed a 17-year-old girl while they were on their way home from school.

Burton said school safety needed to be made a priority and applied.


Read more on:    johannesburg  |  education  |  research

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


Zille: Only DA can challenge ANC in F State

The DA is the only party that can challenge the ANC in the Free State, opposition party leader Helen Zille says.


Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
  • Monday Muizenberg - 15:04 PM
    Road name: Main Road Southbound
    HEAVY DELAYS between Muizenberg and Fish Hoek
  • Monday Sir Lowry's Pass - 13:45 PM
    Road name: N2 Westbound
    HEAVY TRAFFIC over Sir Lowrys Pass - expect delays
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now! - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Samsung Galaxy Tab P7500 10.1" Tablet With WiFi & 3G

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 gives you a better experience for...

From R4999.00

I'm shopping for:


There may be a break through, either through quiet contemplative time to connect to your deep side or forced on you more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.