The Mail and Guardian
124 Poster Road
Violence at schools
With reference to the article on the Unisa study on violence in schools that was published in The Mercury on the 24th of May, I would like to express some of my views on the issue.
As I see it, there are many reasons for the occurrence of violence at schools. The April 24th article highlighted teacher absenteeism as one of the main factors that influence this issue, however being a learner myself, I feel that there are other, much more prominent factors that are also major contributors.
I find that the volumes by which the degree of violence in schools has escalated to be staggering. Therefore I found myself pondering about what factor could trigger such a dramatic increase within such a short time frame. My view is that years of unintentional grooming by the system of corporal punishment is to blame. It is often said that children have a natural instinct to emulate their elders, and who better to emulate that someone that you are meant to learn from. I feel that by previously using the system of Corporal punishment, teachers have been unknowingly setting an example that violence earns you the respect of the learners. Therefore many of the students have adopted the ‘Alpha-male’ mentality and establish their dominance by using violence.
That being said I feel that a reverse approach to corporal punishment needs to be developed and implemented by the Department of Education. Even though corporal punishment has been banned, the ‘alpha-male’ mentality still remains rampant in our generation. The subject of earning respect through good means, and not fear, needs to be incorporated into not one, but multiple subjects in the school syllabus in the form of short stories with good morals, and L.O case studies showing the bad consequences for people who use violence as their outlet.
Those are my personal views on the topic. I hope my letter...