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Title: The perceptions and experiences of students regarding weapons in schools in Umgungundlovu District, KwaZulu-Natal
Authors: Mhlongo, Thabani 
Issue Date: 2017
The purpose of the study explores the perception and experiences of students regarding weapons in schools, in a bid to create a peaceful and conducive learning environment. This study concentrated on four high schools in Umgungundlovu District. Students, educators and principals were asked to participate in this study on a voluntary basis.

The study recognises that existing data related to weapons in South African schools is largely anecdotal. The significance of the study is that it collected data related to the weapons in schools and used data to inform recommendations on ways in which we can make schools safer places to the young people and staff. This was a mixed methods survey; however, the bulk of the findings were drawn from the quantitative data, which was conducted through surveys. The qualitative data was collected in interviews and in focus group discussions.

The data revealed that a high proportion of students have seen weapons in school, which might be an indication that weapons find easy access onto school premises. The results revealed the types of weapons brought to schools. Knives were the weapons most seen at school followed by guns, while some other weapons mentioned were pepper sprays, screwdrivers, pangas and bats The study showed that in other schools, drugs, alcohol, substance abuse were reported in the sample. Among the contributing factors raised by the respondents on the reasons for the presence of weapons onto schools were the issue of drugs, alcohol, bullying, fights among students, and being involved on gang activities. Some policy recommendations regarding school security measures were proposed on the basis of the findings which were drawn from this study.

As part of the study, it is recommended that the Department of Education ensure that all South African schools implement well-documented discipline policies, a code of conduct and school rules for their school which must clearly indicate seriousness of carrying a weapon in school as well as the consequences of misbehaviour. The policy must have steps to be followed by the principals and or educators where there are elements of misconduct against the students and sanctions to be issued if the student is found guilty. Other recommendations were made in line with the findings based on the results. Limitations of the study were further pointed out.
Submitted in fulfillment of the requirements of the Degree of Master's in Public Management, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa, 2017.
Appears in Collections:Theses and dissertations (Management Sciences)

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