Main Article Content



The previous decade has shown a great increase in the examination of teachers’ victimisation and safety within school systems globally. Considerable research has yielded parallel results, where learners are the common perpetrators of Teacher-Directed Violence (TDV), followed by the co-workers. None has proposed a model that is teacher-centric in promoting teachers’ safety. The present paper aimed to address teachers’ safety by proposing a model that will assist teachers to deal with the scourge of Teacher-Directed Violence (TDV). Espousing the Grounded Theory as the approach, the proposed model stives to advance the teachers’ voices in promoting teachers’ safety and school safety in general. Amassed data from literature revealed significant academic work on learners’ violence, however first-hand work on TDV is rare. Teachers are also victims of attacks occurring in schools, perpetrated by various role-players, however, slight attention has been accorded to the safety of teachers and the type of protection they need. Hence the model is proposed to prevent any form of TDV from various sources. The results of the study revealed that empowering teachers with skills and knowledge on how to prevent TDV remains paramount for their own protection and for the establishment of favourable schooling environment. Through the implementation of teachers’ safety model, a change in behaviour and practice may yield desirable results. Within the proposed model, it is suggested that the Basic Education sector should take the lead in providing policies and guidelines that address teachers’ safety at the workplace so as to curtail the phenomenon of teacher-on-teacher violence.

Article Details

Author Biography




Department of Primary Education; School of Education, Faculty of Humanities, Tshwane University of Technology

chool of Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate studies, College of Graduate studies, University of South Africa


Agnew, R. (1992). Foundation for a general strain theory of crime and delinquency. Criminology 30: 47-87.

Baillien, E., De Cuyper, N. & De Witte, H. (2011). Job anatomy and workload as antecedents of workplace bullying: A two-wave test of Karasek’s job demand control model for targets and perpetrators. Journal of Occupational and Organisational Psychology, 84 (1): 191-208.

Baron, R. A. & Neuman, J. H. (1998). Workplace violence and workplace aggression: Evidence concerning specific forms, potential causes, and preferred targets. Journal of Management, 24 (3): 391-419.

Berlanda, S., Fraizzoli, M., De Cordova, F., & Pedrazza, M. (2019). Psychological Risks and Violence Against Teachers. Is it Possible to Promote Well-Being at Work? Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16, 1-13.

Bounds, C. & Jenkins, L.N. (2018). Teacher-Directed Violence and Stress: the Role of School Setting. Contemporary School Psychology, 20: 336-344.

Botha, R.J., & Zwane, R.P. (2021). Strategies to Prevent Learner-on-Educator Violence in South African Schools. International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research, 20 (9): 1-17.

Bronfenbrenner, U. (1979). The ecology of human development. Experiments by nature and design. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Centre for Justice and Crime Prevention (CJCP). (2016). The National School Safety Framework. Cape Town: Centre for Justice and Crime Prevention. Available at: http://www.cjcp.org.za/national-school-safety-framework

Charmz, K. (2015). Grounded Theory: Methodology and theory construction. International Encyclopaedia of the Social & Behavioural Sciences, 10(1): 402-407.

Chetty, D. (2019). Violence against Teachers at Schools in South Africa, Research Report. [O]. Available: https://www.sapagauteng.co.za/pluginAppObj/pluginApp Obj_105_01/VIOLENCE-AGAINST-TEACHERS-AT-SCHOOLS-IN-SOUTHAFRICA.pdf.

Cowan, R. L. (2009). “Rocking the boat” and “Continuing to fight”: Un/productive justice episodes and the problem of workplace bullying. Human Communication, 12 (3): 288-301.

Cox, T. & Leather, P. (1994). The prevention of violence at work: Application of a cognitive behavioural theory, In Cooper, C. L & Robertson, I. T. (Eds.), International Review of Industrial and Organisational Psychology. Chichester, 2(3), 213-245.

Department of Basic Education. (2011). Safety in education: Partnership protocol between the DBE and SAPS. Pretoria: Government Printer.

Department of Basic Education. (2015). National School Safety Framework. Pretoria: Department of Basic Education. Available at: http://www.cjcp.org.za/national-school-safety--framework-nssf.

Department of Public Service and Administration. (2019(. Wellness management: policy for the public service. Pretoria: DPSA.

De Wet, N. C. (2010). School principals’ bullying behaviour. Acta Criminologica, 23 (1): 96-117.

De Wet, N.C. (2021). South African newspapers’ depiction of learner-on-teacher violence. Communicare, vol 40(2): 21-42

Employment of Educators Act (17 of 1998) in the Policy Handbook for Educators. Education Labour Relations. South Africa: Education Labour Relations Council.

Espelage, D., Anderman, E.M., Brown, V.E., Jones, A., Lane, K.L. & McMahon, S.D. (2011). Understanding and preventing violence directed against teachers: recommendations for national research, practice, policy agenda. The American Psychologist, 68, 75-87.

Espelage, D. L., Anderman, E. M., Brown, V. E., Jones. A., Lane, K. L., McMahon, S. D., Reddy, L. A. & Reynolds, C.R. (2013). Understanding and preventing violence directed against teachers. American Psychologist, 68 (2): 75-87.

Equal Education. (2016). Of ‘loose papers and vague allegations’: A social audit report on the safety and sanitation crisis in Western Cape Schools. Cape Town: Larrel Publishers. Available at: https://equaleducation.org.za/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Western-Cape-Schools-Safety-and-Sanitation-Social-Audit-Report [Accessed 23/11/2020].

Gerberich, S.G., Nachreiner, N.M., Ryan, A.D., Church, T.R., McGovern, P.M. & Geisser, M.S. (2014). Case-Control Study of Student-Perpetrated Physical Violence against Educators. Annals of Epidemiology, 24(3): 325–332

Harkonen, U. (2007). The impact of theories on the early childhood education culture. University of Joensuu. Joensuu: Savonlinna Department of Teacher Education. Kauppi, T. & Porhola, M. (2012). School Educators Bullied by Their Students: Educators’ attributions how they share their experiences. Teaching and Teacher Education, 28(3): 1059-1068.

Kennedy, D.B. (2003). Forensic security and the law. The Handbook of Security, Pretoria: Kagiso. Available at: http://www.forensiccriminology.com [Accessed 20/8/2017].

Kgosimore, D.L. (2004). Employee-on-employee violence: Type V Workplace Violence. Acta Criminologica, 17 (2): 60-69.

Le Mottee, C., & Kelly, J. (2017). Behind the blackboard: reviewing educators’ experiences of school violence in South Africa. African Journal of Criminology & Victimology, 30(3), 46-67.

Leoschut, L., & Makota, G. (2016). The National School Safety Framework: a framework for preventing violence in South African schools. African safety promotion, 14(2): 18-2.

Linda, N., Daniels, F., Fakude, L. & Marie M.R. (2015). Nurse Educators’ Experiences of Case-Based Education in a South African Nursing Programme. Curations, 38(2): 1-8.

Lutgen-Sandvik, P. (2006). Take this job and … Quitting and other forms of resistance to workplace bullying. Communication Monographs, 73 (4): 406-433.

Lutgen-Sandvik, P., Namie G. & Namie, R. (2009). Workplace bullying: Causes and consequences and corrections. In P. Lutgen-Sandvik & B. D. Sypher (Eds.), Destructive Organisational Communication: Processes, Consequences and Constructive Ways of Organising. New York: Routledge/Taylor & Francis. 22-52.

Lutgen-Sandvik, P. & Tracy, S. J. (2012). Answering five key questions about workplace bullying: How communication scholarship provides thought leadership for transforming abuse at work. Management Communication Quarterly, 26 (1): 3-47.

Mabasa, L.T., & Mafumo, T.N. (2017). The way in which schools choose strategies in dealing with safety of learners in schools, Gender and Behaviour, 15 (2): 1-19.

Mahome, M. M. & Rampa, S. H. 2019. The prevalence of learner-on-teacher school-based violence: A qualitative study, Acta Criminologica: African Journal of Criminology & Victimology, 32 (2):91-104.

Mahome, M.M. (2021). Perpetrators of staff victimisation within the teaching ranks: A socio-ecological perspective. Acta Criminologica: African Journal of Criminology & Victimology, 34(2): 1-25.

Martinez, A., McMahon, S. D., Espelage, D., Anderman, E. M., Reddy, L. A. & Sanchez, B. (2016). Teachers’ experiences with multiple victimisations. Identifying demographic, cognitive, and contextual correlates. Journal of School Violence, 15(2): 387-405.

Masitsa, M. G. (2008). Discipline and disciplinary measures in the Free State township schools: Unresolved problems. Acta Academic, 40 (3): 234-270.

McLaughlin, E. & Muncie, J. (2001). The Sage dictionary of criminology. London: SAGE.

McMahon, S. D., Martinez, A. & Espelage, D. L. (2014). Violence against teachers: Results from national survey. Psychology in the Schools, 51 (7): 753-765.

McMahon, S. D., Reaves, S., McConnell, E., Peist, E. & Ruiz, L. & the APA Task Force on Classroom Violence Directed Against Teachers. (2017). Ecology of teachers’ experiences with violence and lack of administrative support. American Journal of Community Psychology, 60(2): 502-515.

McMahon, S.D., Peist, E., Davis, J.O., McConnell, E., Reaves, S., Reddy, L.I., Anderman, E.M. & Espelage, D.L. (2020). Addressing violence against teachers: A social-ecological analysis of teachers’ perspectives. Psychol Schs. 20(2); 1-17.

McMahon, S.D., Anderman, E, M., Astor, R.A., Espelage, D.L., Martinez, A., Reddy, L.A., & Worrell, F.C. (2022a). Violence Against Educators and School Personnel: Crisis During COVID. Technical Report. American Psychological Association. Pretoria: Kagiso.

McMahon, S.D., Anderman, E.M., Astor, R.A., Espelage, D.L., Martinez, A., Reddy, L.A., & Worrell, F.C. (2022b). Violence Against Educators and School Personnel: Crisis During COVID. Policy Brief. New York: American Psychological Association.

Mgijima, N. M. (2014). Violence in South African Schools: Perceptions of communities about a persistent problem. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 14 (5): 197-206.

Moon, B., McCluskey, J.D., Blurton, D., & Hwang, H.W. (2014). Parent and teacher policies as sources of low self-control evidence from Korea. Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice, 18(1), 167-187.

Montouro, P., & Mainhard, T. (2017). An investigation of the mechanism underlying teacher aggression: Testing 13 theory and The General Aggression Model, Br. J. Edu. Psychol. 8(7), 497-517.

Ngidi, L.Z. (2018). Reducing School Violence: A peace education project amongst stakeholders in Umlazi (Doctoral dissertation). Durban: University of Kwazulu Natal

Orange, A. (2018). Workplace bullying in schools: Teachers’ perceptions of why they were mistreated. The Educational Forum, 82 (4) 390-405.

Patterson, G.R. (1976). The aggressive child: Victim and architect of a coercive system. In E. Mash, L.A. Hamerlynch, & L.C. Handy (Eds.), Behaviour modification and families, New York: Brunner/Mazel.

Pickroll, EL.D., Chivers, P., Farrington, F., & Rycroft, P. (2020).Teacher-directed violence by parents in Western Australia: An explorative study. Issues in educational Research, 30 (1): 22-39.

Prpic, M. (2019). Student’s Violence Against Teachers in Retaliation to the School Climate. Journal of Criminal Justice and Security, 4(2), 405-425.

Qwabe, T.T., Maluleke, W., & Olutola, A.A. (2022). Exploring the Nature of School Violence in the Selected Public High Schools: Case Study of Jozini Settlement, Kwazulu-Natal Province, South Africa. International Journal of Social Sciences Research and Review, 5(4): 116-137.

Riley, P. (2018). The Australian principal occupational health, safety, and wellbeing survey 2018 data. Fitzroy, Victoria: Australian Catholic University https://www.principalhealth.org/au/2017_Report_AU_FINAL.pdf

Sage, N.A. (1998). The Family System-Child Target: Available at: http//www.psy.pdx.edu/PsiCafé/Overheads/FamilySys-ChildTarget.

Santos, A., &. & Tin, J. J. (2016). The nature, extent, and impact of educator targeted bullying on schoolteachers in West Malaysia. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 46 (5): 1-14.

Sitoyi, F. (2020). Teacher and learner experience of violence in a Cape Flats school, Unpublished Master’s Dissertation, Cape Town: University of the Western Cape.

Smit, D.M. (2014). Bullying in the workplace: Towards a uniform approach in South African labour law. Unpublished doctoral thesis. Bloemfontein: University of the Free State.

South African Council for Educators Act (31 of 2000). Government Gazette No. 34620, as amended by Basic Education Laws Amendment Act, No. 15 of 2011. Cape Town: Parliament.

South African Council for Educators. (SACE). (2017). SACE Structures. Centurion: South African Council for Educators. Available at: https://www.sace.org.za/pages/sace-structures.

South African Council for Educators. (SACE). (2020). Handbook for teachers’ rights, responsibilities, and safety. Available at: https://sace.org.za/assets/documents/uploads/sace_90707-2020-01-10.

Turkum, A.S. (2011). Social supports preferred by teachers when facing school violence. Children and Youth Violence Review, 33(1), 644-650.

Terzoudi, T. (2020). Violence Against Teachers in Sweden: The Hidden side of School Violence. Unpublished degree project in criminology, Malmo: Malmo University.

Tracy, S. J., Alberts, J. K. &. & Rivera, K. D. (2007). How to bust the office bully: Eight tactics for explaining workplace abuse to decision makers. Available at: http//: www.humancommunication.clas.asu.edu/aboutus/wellnesspublications.

Tracy, S. J. &. & Rivera, K. D. (2010). Endorsing equity and applauding stay-at-home moms: How male voices on workplace reveal aversive sexism and flickers of transformation. Management Communication Quarterly, 24 (1): 3-43.

Zwane, R.P. (2021). Educators as victims of learner -on -educator violence in South African Schools: A model for countering the violence against teachers. Unpublished PhD Thesis. Pretoria: University of South Africa.