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Learner-teacher targeted bullying in South African high schools
Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties  (IF),  Pub Date : 2021-11-23, DOI: 10.1080/13632752.2021.1984100
Adeniran Gregory Adewusi


Studies about workplace bullying recognise that teaching is becoming a high-risk profession. Despite the global concern about teacher-targeted bullying by learners, a dearth of studies remain regarding the bullying of teachers. This study aims at contributing towards the limited corpus of knowledge on the preponderance of the phenomenon within the South African schooling contexts. A phenomenological research design qualitative method was employed. Nine teachers in grade 12 class completed semi-structured interviews about the bullying of teachers by learners. Findings evince that teachers are bullied in diverse ways. Findings further reveal that generational shift in learner behavioural pattern, learner drug addiction and school violence, too much learner-centred approach policy by the government, poor parental school involvement and inadequate resources in schools are contributory factors for teachers being bullied. The study exposes the resultant effect of bullying on teachers as severe; responsible for stress, emotional distress, isolation, teacher burnout and sometimes attrition from practice. The findings are discussed in the literature. It is concluded that bullying of teachers poses a serious challenge in South African schools; hence, it must be urgently addressed by whatever pragmatic policy to pre-empt domestic violence faced by teachers.