School management teams’ perspective of the gendered nature of school violence in South African public schools
This article presents the findings of a study conducted in Gauteng, South Africa. The main aim of the study was to examine principals’ and educators’ experiences of violence in schools and how they are dealing with it. This included investigating the gendered nature of violence in school. The study used a qualitative research method, with individual and focus group interviews to collect data from the school management teams, educators and the school governing bodies (parent component). A post-structural feminist view was taken to understand the perspectives of the participants. Findings show that school violence is both a male and female issue, although boys were seen as the main participants. Findings also reveal that although female educators are sometimes victims of school violence, as professionals they use violence reduction strategies that any other professional could apply, whether male or female. The strategies for eliminating violence in schools should not be gendered, but should be all-encompassing and consider all factors that may play a role in causing violence.
Keywords: social identities, gender violence, sexual harassment, essentialism, educators