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The purpose of the present study was to explore the nature and extent of violence experienced by secondary school teachers. A combination of quantitative and qualitative research methods were used in order to gain the greatest insight into teachers experiences of violence and intimidation in schools. The research instrument used in order to gather data was a questionnaire. One hundred and ten questionnaires were gathered from teachers in a number of different schools. The study investigates teachers own experiences of violence and intimidation, the reporting of violence, the effects of violence on teachers health, moral and personal and professional lives. Adequate levels of teacher training and in-services on dealing with violence are also investigated. Finally, support services available for teachers who are experiencing difficulties and an awareness of such support services amongst teachers are also investigated. The findings highlighted that teacher’s experience violence in a number of different forms ranging from verbal abuse, physical abuse, threats and intimidations. A number of different perpetrators were found to abuse teachers including students, parents and other staff members. A number of effects were also found to have affected teachers who experienced violence and intimidation. Stress, anxiety, taking leave from working, visiting a GP and low morale are a number of the key issues found to have affected teachers. A lack of awareness amongst teachers of support services available to them was also found in this study. The importance of teacher training is presented and the demand for an increase in such training has been supported by this study. School policies on violence have been found to be very important for schools in dealing with incidences of violence and the incorporation of teachers within is vital. In accordance with the findings the present research recommends that all schools have a clear policy on violence in place that incorporates teachers. Also compulsory and increased training on preventing and dealing with incidences of violence be given to teachers. Finally a greater awareness amongst teachers of support network in place for them be created so as teachers can avail of them if they so require.
Lernihan, Ciana: An Exploration into the Nature and Extent of Violence Experienced by Secondary School Teachers. Dublin, DIT, September 2011.