52% of SA teachers abused by pupils

Teachers have been subjected to verbal, physical and sexual abuse at the hands of learners.

Some teachers have been subjected to verbal, physical and sexual abuse at the hands of their learners. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - A total of 52.1 percent of educators were exposed to verbal violence perpetrated by learners, according to the 2012 National Schools Violence Study.

The study also shows 12.4 percent of teachers were exposed to physical violence and 3.3 percent were exposed to sexual violence perpetrated by learners, according to the study which was conducted by the Centre for Justice and Crime Prevention (CJCP).

Founder of the Circle of Courage Mentoring Programme Professor Khalil Osiris told the Redi Tlhabi Show that violence in schools is part of a bigger social ill.

"We need to re-examine our assumptions about violence in schools and specifically in instances where learners attack teachers. We believe that all behaviour is learned. Second, misbehaviour can be unlearned and third, positive behaviour must be taught, modelled, practiced and reinforced. "

Osiris says corporal punishment is not the answer for dealing with misbehaving children.

"Research supports the fact that when you use aversive or punitive responses to misbehaviour or to inappropriate behaviour, it reinforces the negative behaviour. In fact the most effective way to change inappropriate behaviour is through positive reinforcements."

Meanwhile, the teacher who was attacked by a pupil in Glenvista High School says he has forgiven his attacker.

The video of the incident went viral throughout the country.

The school has since suspended the attacker and 14 other pupils who cheered him on during the incident.

In another incident, a Crosby primary school pupil punched a teacher after being told to remove a jersey which was not part of the school's uniform.

The 14-year-old has been suspended pending an investigation.