Violence: what the pupils say

2008-08-27 00:00

The killing of sixteen-year-old Jacques Pretorius at the Nic Diederichs Technical High School in Krugersdorp has again raised questions about what is behind the spate of killings in schools.

This is why two mothers and members of the Northdale community, Nasima Ballim and Ingla Pillay, thought it was time to get a perspective on the matter from those mostly affected, the pupils.

They did this by engaging some of the pupils at Silver Heights Secondary in a two-day workshop called the Alternative to Violence Project (AVP).

The women are part-time students at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Centre for Adult Education, and the curriculum requires that they do an AVP course under the module of Peace Education.

“The course had such a positive impact on us we thought it was vital that we take the project to schools in order to teach our children coping skills. As mothers we are so concerned about the escalating violence in schools.

“Every week you hear about an incident, and we wanted to help children discover alternatives to violence and hopefully start a culture of non-violence that can be taught in school and that they can grow with into adulthood,” said Pillay.

A pupil at the school, Eugene Dlamini (18), feels that violence in schools has reached new heights because South Africans are accustomed to having excuses for being violent.

“Because of apartheid, people of different races hated each other and that was communicated through violence. I feel a programme like AVP should be implemented in schools because I have learnt so much …”

Zandile Radebe (17) said she often reads newspapers and watches TV news to catch up on current events. She admits she is disturbed by the amount of violence in schools.

“It is actually very scary now to go to school. I think it all boils down to a lack of respect and people abusing and overplaying their rights. Prior to this workshop it was easy to judge and assume things about people, but I have learnt that to avoid conflicts you need to communicate better …”

Nikata Sonlall (16) said the message she will be taking to her peers who were not able to attend the workshop is the “I-message”.

“So many times you end up with unnecessary fights simply by your approach to a situation. If you are confrontational, emotions are bound to rise. Instead of saying ‘you’ all the time and passing the blame, you can shift to ‘I feel this way’. That calms the other person …”

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. 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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
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.