Teachers’ lived experiences of school violence and their coping strategies





coping strategies, lived experiences, routine activity theory, school violence, teachers.


School violence perpetrated against teachers is becoming a scourge in South African schools, and as a result, teachers feel stressed, depressed, unsafe and demotivated to continue teaching. This problem, which has had a severely negative impact on the quality of teaching and learning, has also permeated the entire educational system in South Africa. Hence, the emergence of this study, which applied the routine activity theory also to investigate factors influencing perpetrators (learners) to target their victims (teachers) in the absence of capable guardians. This qualitative study adopted a phenomenological case study design to establish teachers’ lived experiences of school violence and their coping strategies to improve teaching experiences. The sample size comprised eight purposively selected high school teachers who had experienced at least one form of violence at a school in the Free State Province. Data were collected via audio recordings during face-to-face semi-structured interviews, which were then transcribed and analysed following Braune and Clarke’s thematic analysis approach. The findings indicate that the teachers interviewed were emotionally stressed and demotivated by their experiences of school violence. Additionally, data revealed that the teachers in the study expressed strong feelings of insecurity and disappointment with the teaching profession. Regarding teachers’ coping strategies, the findings indicate that school-based counselling services and sharing experiences with colleagues help to alleviate the influences of school violence. It is recommended that incidents of school violence experienced by teachers be reduced or even eliminated if all relevant stakeholders consider the coping strategies.


Download data is not yet available.




How to Cite

Okeke, C., & Simphiwe, W. . (2024). Teachers’ lived experiences of school violence and their coping strategies . Perspectives in Education, 42(1), 148–161. https://doi.org/10.38140/pie.v42i1.7210



March 2024 Violence in South African schools Special Edition March 2024