n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Educator-targeted bullying : fact or fallacy?

Volume 19, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1012-8093



A quantitative study was undertaken amongst educators in the Free State and the Eastern Cape to ascertain whether Educator-targeted Bullying (ETB) is a fallacy given credence by the popular media or if it is a part of the daily lives of (some) educators. A questionnaire, adapted from the one used by Pervin and Turner (1998), was compiled to use as a data-gathering instrument. A convenient sample was drawn from educators who were engaged in further studies at the University of the Free State. A total of 600 questionnaires were distributed. Of these, 579 were returned and 544 could be used. Data was analysed using the Data Analysis Tool of Microsoft Excel and Intercooled Stata software packages. The educators who participated in the study overwhelmingly indicated that they suffer at the hands of the learners. Although the frequency of incidents varies, 76, 7% of the respondents indicated that they are exposed to some or other form of ETB. The investigation into the profile of the most likely victims of ETB revealed the following:Male educators appear to be more exposed to all types of ETB than female educators; educators with 21 or more years' of experience seem to be more exposed to most types of ETB than educators with less experience; respondents of 51 years of age or older seem to be least exposed to ETB, while the respondents in the age group 41 to 50 seem to be the most exposed; respondents on REQV level 13 seem to be more exposed to ETB than those on REQV 14; educators are bullied less in primary and secondary schools, than in combined, intermediate and senior secondary schools. When respondents were requested to indicate who they perceive to be the most likely victims of ETB, they responded in the following way: 34, 0% indicated that they consider educators new to the school as likely victims of ETB; 39, 9% consider inexperienced educators targets of ETB; and 64, 1% expressed the opinion that all educators are likely to be victims of ETB. Against the background of the foregoing results it is recommended that educators' trade unions should fight for their members' rights to teach in a safe environment. It is furthermore suggested that ETB should form an integral feature of a whole school anti-bullying policy.

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