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Schools, once a haven to which parents could send their children with confidence regarding their safety and protection have become an environment in which violence is a frequent visitor.
Recent reports tell us that serious problems disrupt teaching and learning and threaten the safety of children and educators in many schools in the Western Cape.
These problems include gang violence.
This study aims to assess the level of learners' exposure to gang violence and their participation in high-risk behaviour in and outside a selected high school.
In response to the findings recommendations are made to stabilise and develop the infrastructure and to empower both educators and learners to address the difficulties they may experience.
By means of this study the researcher wishes to raise the awareness of educators and school officials of the scope and nature of the problem and to encourage school officials to assume more responsibility in this area and to recognise quality public education as one of the most important tools in early intervention to prevent or deter juvenile delinquency or gang involvement.
Marione Heather Erasmus has obtained her MSocSc degree in Probation and Correctional Practice in 2004 from the University of Cape Town.
She is currently employed as the Human Resources and Research Information Officer in the Wits School of Education at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.
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