n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Violence in schools : a security problem?

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South African schools are rapidly and increasingly becoming arenas for violence. Schools are no longer known as safe and secure environments where children can go to learn, enjoy themselves and feel secure. Rather they are increasingly being defined as dangerous and unsafe places of learning. This article is a preliminary review of a literature study on how school violence is becoming a serious security problem, not only in South Africa, but globally. School violence touches each country and each school in its own unique manner. Every school will have different problems and different needs, therefore the security strategies designed for each school will vary according to their circumstances and environment. The objective of security measures is to create a safe and secure environment conducive to learning. In today's schools, security is a fundamental element that should, to some degree, be implemented in all schools in order to prevent and reduce school violence as much as possible. There are various security measures that can be implemented in schools, which can be human (guards, community participation), physical (perimeter fencing, lighting) and / or electronic (CCTV, intruder alarms) in nature as well as to improve and implement different policies and procedures within schools. These security measures will assist in reducing the probability and the impact that crime and violence has on the school environment. Previously the responsibility for the safety of learners at schools lay with the individual school itself, i.e. teacher body. However, today it requires the assistance of the school, the parents, the police, the Department of Education and the community in general. The problem of school violence can only be addressed successfully if all of these individuals and institutions co-operate and work together in a co-ordinated manner.


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