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South African Journal of Education

On-line version ISSN 2076-3433
Print version ISSN 0256-0100

Abstract

SEGALO, Letlhoyo  and  RAMBUDA, Awelani Melvin. South African public school teachers' views on right to discipline learners. S. Afr. j. educ. [online]. 2018, vol.38, n.2, pp.1-7. ISSN 2076-3433.  http://dx.doi.org/10.15700/saje.v38n2a1448.

In South Africa, the common law principle of in loco parentis entitles teachers, as the guardians in the school environment, to discipline learners. However, in view of new legislation advancing children's rights, it is unclear as to the extent to which teachers can or do enact the loco parentis role. This study employed a qualitative research approach to explore public school teachers' views related to disciplining learners. A convenience sample of eight teachers (four females and four males) was interviewed using a focus group strategy. A thematic data analysis was applied to identify strands emerging from the discussions. Findings suggest diminished teachers' rights to discipline learners as characterised by learners' lack of respect, morals and values, teacher safety and personal protection, teacher sense of disempowerment, poor classroom management and teaching strategies, and ineffective parental involvement.

Keywords : diminution; in loco parentis; teachers' right and duty to discipline; teachers' right and duty to punish.

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