Violence towards school teachers has become a cause for concern for teachers around the country and for the department of education (DOE).Following the death of a 24-year-old teacher in North West who was stabbed by a student and another incident where a learner threatened a teacher with a gun in Gauteng, the South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) have spoken out for better protection for teachers.Sadtu general secretary Mugwena Maluleke tells DRUM they’ve raised the issue of security in schools in all forums.“It dates back to 2013 when the union convened principals to address safety issues and this was followed by community meetings, especially in areas where they saw that schools were vulnerable,” he explains.“We’ve engaged the DOE and we continue to highlight the plight of teachers. This has led to the department of basic education (DBE) drafting policies to deal with violence in schools. We are raising the matter at the bargaining table so we can root out violence against teachers once and for all.“Teachers have resigned since the unfortunate call by the Congress of South African Students (Cosas) for learners to “moer” (beat) teachers. Teachers are reasonable and love their learners but the fear is overwhelming and we’re going to see more young teachers resign from the teaching profession because the nation isn’t on their side,” he tells DRUM.He adds that teachers would strike if the matter isn’t resolved.“Teachers are targets for unruly learners who are emboldened by Cosas’ call to beat their teachers and where parents have taken a sabbatical from parenting. Yes, we can expect teachers striking soon if this isn’t attended to. Teachers will soon leave schools and report to circuit offices in solidarity with each other,” he concludes.The DBE has been made aware of all that has occurred and released a statement following the stabbing in North West. Minister of basic education Angie Motshekga sent her deepest condolences to the family of slain teacher Gadimang Daniel Mokolobate as well as the entire school community affected by the traumatising incident and has also visited the family of the young teacher.”It is extremely heartbreaking to lose such a young teacher who had so much potential in this devastating manner. He only began teaching at the school in April this year – it truly is a tragedy,” she said.The Council of Education Ministers (CEM) are worried about the illegal weapons learners carry onto school premises and the disruptive videos learners take in classrooms. “Other incidents that are deeply concerning to us as CEM are the social ills we see continuing to creep into our schools. This includes learners who have been searched by police at schools and found with illegal drugs on them, as well as explicit videos made by learners and circulated on social media,” explained Motshekga.National police spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo tells DRUM they’ve been working closely with the department of education and that a school safety plan is in place.“As at universities the police cannot physically police in a school. But we’ve asked that school governing bodies and educators put strict measures in place to ensure learners don’t attend school with weapons and firearms,” he explains.