n Child Abuse Research in South Africa - The policing of school violence in the Western Cape, South Africa

Volume 16, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1562-1383



The aim of this paper is to report on findings from a media analysis of the policing of school violence in the Western Cape, South Africa. This paper uses 41 articles, published in the Cape Times over a period of two-and-a-half years as a data source. The articles were retrieved from the SAMedia database. The media analysis illustrates privately owned news media's dual role, namely to act as watchdog for public interest in a democracy and to protect the financial interests of its owners and shareholders. The study moreover highlights two contrasting arguments regarding the policing of school violence, namely that an increased presence of Metro Police officers and members of the South African Police Services (SAPS) in schools may result in (1) the perpetuation of inequalities, the criminalisation of youths and a failure to address the root causes of school violence, and (2) the creation of a safe teaching and learning environment. Findings from this study reveal similar fears, prejudices and praises in South Africa and the USA regarding the presence of police officers in schools.

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