n South African Journal of Education - The nature and extent of bullying in Free State secondary schools




Bullying infringes upon the child's right to human dignity, privacy, freedom, and security. It also has a negative influence on both the victim's and the bully's physical, emotional, social, and educational wellbeing. However, every child has the right to be protected from maltreatment, neglect, abuse, or degradation. Against this background a research project was conducted to investigate the experiences of a group of Free State learners who were victims, aggressors as well as spectators and listeners of bullying. The research instrument was the Delaware Bullying questionnaire. This article reports on the investigation against the background of a literature review. It was clear from the investigation that bullying is a problem at most schools in the Free State, to a lesser or greater extent. Only 16.22% of the learner respondents indicated that bullying was not a problem at their respective schools. Although the majority of respondents had been very rarely, if ever, victims of and/or aggressors in bullying situations, many of them had witnessed incidents of verbal bullying, in particular. It was also evident that boys more often than girls are/were the victims and/or aggressors in bullying situations.


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