In this article, the authors gauge the perceptions of student teachers on violence in
primary schools and their immediate communities. Learners’ exposure to mounting
levels of violence and crime in South Africa in general, but more specifically in their
homes and communities, affects their behaviour adversely. The data collection took
the form of a written submission of the discussion of semi-structured reflective
questions in a post-internship oral reflection in student teachers’ internship school
groups after an approximately three month long internship period in Pretoria schools.
Student teachers believe that school violence impacts on learners and teachers to a
large extent, often damaging the trust relationship between them. In addition, the
uncertainty of teachers in dealing with incidents of violence sometimes creates the
impression that they are uncaring. Students contend that measures such as workshops
for all role players, as well as stricter discipline, could alleviate the problem of
violence in schools and communities. The place to begin to stem the burgeoning tide
of violence in society at large, lies with government.