Moses Chisala, Daniel Ndhlovu, Joseph M. Mandyata


Bullying is a destructive social problem in schools that needs attention. Schools have the responsibility to create a safe place where students can learn without fear of being bullied. The purpose of the study was to explore child protection measures against bullying in selected special education schools in Luapula province. This study was guided by a Constructivist Paradigm, in keeping with the research paradigm, a qualitative intrinsic case study design was employed because the case study outcomes were intended to tell the researcher something that is solely about the case itself. In this case, the child with disability and special education school was of primary interest in the study. The sample size comprised of 38 participants consisting of 2 head teachers, 12 teachers, 12 parents and 12 learners from the two selected special education schools. Purposive critical case sampling was used to select head teachers, expert sampling was used on teachers and criterion sampling was used to select learners and parents. Data from head teachers and teachers were collected using a semi-structured interview guide and focus group discussions guide (FGD) were used on learners and parents. Data were analysed by thematic analysis. The study revealed that children with disabilities were protected from bullying in special education schools using the 3R’s (Recognizing, Responding and Reporting) bullying prevention strategies for learners with special educational needs. The findings established that Recognizing bullying prevention strategies included recognizing the statistics or acts of bullying in the school, recognizing the warning signs of victims and stereotypes of bullies and routine checking to stop harassment and bullying acts. The study also revealed that Responding bullying prevention strategies included holding meetings that reinforce positive behaviour expectations, providing guidance and counselling on how to respond to bullying, punishing learners using discriminatory language or derogatory remarks, formulation of anti-bullying programs, formation of support groups to sensitize learners, training staff members on how to recognizing incidents of bullying and teach anti-bullying social skills. Other strategies identified include the Reporting bullying prevention strategies which included reporting all forms of ill-treatment, reporting bullying incidence in school settings, reporting any form of harassment, and bullying acts. These bullying prevention strategies enabled the teachers in the school to protect learners with disabilities in schools. Based on these findings, the study recommends that the school should be on the lookout for incidences of bullying, respond to bullying quickly and effectively and document and report all actions taken when recognizing and responding to bullying.


Article visualizations:

Hit counter


bullying, child protection, special education school

Full Text:



Allam, F. C., & Martin, M. M. (2021). Issues and challenges in special education: A qualitative analysis from teacher’s perspective. Southeast Asia Early Childhood Journal, 10(1), 37-49.

Amanda, N. (2019). Preventing and Intervening with Bullying in Schools: A Framework for Evidence-Based Practice. School Mental Health. 11. 10.1007/s12310-017-9221-8.

Antwi, W. (2021). Multidisciplinary Approach in Child Protection: Healthcare Concerns. Academia Letters, Article 1063.

Aubdul A., Widyastari, D. A., Chuanwan, S. & Katewongsa, P. (2022). Association of bullying on happiness at school: evidence from Thailand’s national school-based survey. International Journal of Adolescence and Youth, 27:1, 72-84, DOI: 10.1080/02673843.2021.2025117

Baginsky, M., et al. (2019). Perspectives on Safeguarding and Child Protection in English Schools: The New Educational Landscape Explored.” Educational Research, vol. 61, no. 4, 2019, pp. 469-481.

Better Care Network. (2017). Violence against Children and Care in Africa: A Discussion Paper. New York: Oak Foundation. Pg 21

Bronfenbrenner, U. (1979). The Ecology of Human Development. Harvard University Press.

Bronfenbrenner, U., & Morris, P. A. (2006). The Bioecological Model of Human Development. In W. Damon & R. M. Lerner (Eds.), Handbook of child psychology (6th ed, pp. 793–828). Hoboken, N.J: John Wiley & Sons

Chen, M., Gao, S., & Jin, Y. (2021). Does teachers’ involvement affect the extent of school bullying? In Z. Tong & J. Yan (Eds.), Proceedings of the 2021 International Conference on Education, Language and Art (ICELA 2021) (pp. 870–875). Atlantis Press.

Chirwa, J. (2019). Child Protection in Zambia,Child%20rotection%20in%20Zambia,-Published%20on%20May

Downes P. & Cefai, C., (2016). How to Prevent and Tackle Bullying and School Violence: Evidence and Practices for Strategies for Inclusive and Safe Schools, NESET II report, Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union, 2016. doi: 10.2766/0799

Falla, D.; Sánchez, S.; Casas, J. A. (2021). What Do We Know about Bullying in Schoolchildren with Disabilities? A Systematic Review of Recent Work. Sustainability 13, 416.

Guest, G., Bunce, A., & Johnson, L. (2006). How many interviews are enough? An experiment with data saturation and variability. Field Methods, 18(1), 59–82.

Hall, W. (2017). The Effectiveness of Policy Interventions for School Bullying: A Systematic Review. Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research, Volume 8, Number 1. 2334-2315/2017/0801-0003/$10.00.

Hatimbula. B.C. J., Silungwe, S.. A. & Silungwe, W. (2019). Disability Perceptions, the Law and the Protection of the Disabled: The Case of Zambia. International Journal of social Science and Humanities Research. Vol.7.3

Hinduja, S. & Patchin, J. W. (2021). Cyberbullying Identification, Prevention, and Response. Cyberbullying Research Center (

Houchins, D. E., Oakes, W. P., & Johnson, Z. G. (2016). Bullying and Students With Disabilities: A Systematic Literature Review of Intervention Studies. Remedial and Special Education, 37(5), 259–273.

Jassim, G. A., & Whitford, D. L. (2014). Understanding the experiences and quality of life issues of Bahraini women with breast cancer. Soc. Sci. Med. 107:189–195. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed. 2014.01.031. [PubMed] [CrossRef] [Google Scholar]

Kamal, S. S. L. B. A., (2019). Research Paradigm and the Philosophical Foundations of a Qualitative Study. PEOPLE: International Journal of Social Sciences, 4(3), 1386-1394.

Lessard, L. M., Watson, R. J., Schacter, H. L., Wheldon, C. W., & Puhl, R. M. (2022). Weight enumeration in United States anti-bullying laws: Associations with rates and risks of weight-based bullying among sexual and gender minority adolescents. Journal of Public Health Policy, 43(1), 27–39.

Likumbo, L. C., Muleya, G. & Simui, F. (2021). Involvement of Selected Secondary Schools in Child Protection against Violence, Exploitation and Sexual Abuse in Lusaka, Zambia. International Journal of Research and Scientific Innovation (IJRSI) |Volume VIII, Issue IX, September 2021|ISSN 2321-2705

Malungo J. R. S., Nabuzoka, D., Paul, P & Sachingongu, N. (2018). Disability and Education Qualitative study from Zambia on barriers to and facilitators of life-long learning. Central Statistical Office; Ministry of Community Development and Social Services Lusaka, Zambia

Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development, Ministry of Community Development and Social Services, University of Zambia, United Nations Children's Fund, Save the Children International, United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (2018). Violence against Children in Zambia: Findings from a national survey, 2014. Lusaka: Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development.

Mohan, T. M. & Bakar, A. Y. A. (2021). A systematic literature review on the effects of bullying at school. SCHOULID: Indonesian Journal of School Counselling 6(1), 35-39

Musonda, M. M & Qinglin, Z. (2015). A Study of Domestic Violence Legislation in Lusaka-Zambia. Research on Humanities and Social Sciences. Vol.5, No.16

Ng’andu, P. & Chilufya, L. B. (2019). Child Rights Violation and Mechanism for Protection of Children Rights in Southern Africa: A Perspective of Central, Eastern and Luapula Provinces of Zambia. International Journal of Innovative Science and Research Technology. Volume 4, Issue 8, ISSN No: 2456-2165

Njelesani, J., Si, J., & Swarm, D. (2022). Unreported and unaddressed: Students with disabilities experience of school violence in Zambia. African journal of disability, 11, 849.

Oldenburg, B. (2017). Bullying in schools: The role of teachers and classmates. University of Groningen.

Onolemhenmhen, P. E., & Osunde, Y. (2018). Child Neglect as Predictor of Academic Performance among Senior Secondary School Students in Edo State, Nigeria. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 7(4), 75–84.

Ratib, L & Lisa, K. (2021) Bullying of students who receive special education services for learning and behaviour difficulties in Norway, International Journal of Inclusive Education, DOI: 10.1080/13603116.2021.1991487

Rusteholz, G. Mediavilla, M. & Pires L. (2021). Impact of bullying on academic performance. A case study for the community of Madrid. IEBWorking Paper 2021/01. SSRN Electronic Journal. DOI: 10.2139/ssrn.3785919

Sabramani, V.; Idris, I. B.; Ismail, H.; Nadarajaw, T.; Zakaria, E.; Kamaluddin, M. R. (2021). Bullying and Its Associated Individual, Peer, Family and School Factors: Evidence from Malaysian National Secondary School Students. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, 18, 7208.

Saldaña, J., Miles, M., & Huberman, M. (2014). Qualitative data analysis: A methods source book. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Swearer, S. & Hymel, S. (2015). Bullying and Discrimination in Schools: Exploring Variations Across Student Subgroups. School Psychology Review, Volume 44, No. 4, pp. 504–509

Thomas, S., Jose, K. A., & Kumar, P. A. (2018). Child-friendly schools: challenges and issues in creating a positive and protective school environment. Positive Schooling and Child Development, 233–248. doi: 10.1007/978-981-13-0077-6_12

UNESCO (2021). Violence and bullying in educational settings: The experience of children and young people with disabilities. France@ United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

United Nations (2019). Keeping the Promise: Ending Violence against Children by 2030. New York: United Nations Publications.

United Nations Children’s Fund, (2017). A Familiar Face: Violence in the lives of children and adolescents. New York: UNICEF

United Nations Children’s Fund, (2019). Behind the Numbers: Ending school violence and bullying, 2019 Human Rights Council (2019) Report of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children, Human Rights Council, A/HRC/40/50, 2019

Vagle, M. D. (2014). Crafting phenomenological research. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press.

Wenwuyu Gao (2020). Anti-bullying interventions for Children with special needs. A 2003-2020 Systematic Literature Review. Master Thesis 15 credits Interventions in Childhood. Jönköping University.pp 27-

Xiao H., Gong Z., Ba Z., Doolan-Noble F., Han Z. (2021). School bullying and health-related quality of life in Chinese school-aged children and adolescents. Child Soc. 2021; 00:1–16.

Yahia, B., Mohamed, R., & Belkheir, H. (2021). The role of physical education and sports class in reducing the phenomenon of school bullying among middle school. Sport System Journal, 8(2), 258–270.


Copyright © 2015 - 2023. European Journal of Special Education Research (ISSN 2501 - 2428) is a registered trademark of Open Access Publishing GroupAll rights reserved.

This journal is a serial publication uniquely identified by an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) serial number certificate issued by Romanian National Library (Biblioteca Nationala a Romaniei). All the research works are uniquely identified by a CrossRef DOI digital object identifier supplied by indexing and repository platforms.

All the research works published on this journal are meeting the Open Access Publishing requirements and can be freely accessed, shared, modified, distributed and used in educational, commercial and non-commercial purposes under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).