Who Is the Victim of Bullying?


In the U.S. Dept. of Justice’s Juvenile Justice Bulletin article titled "Combating Fear and Restoring Safety in Schools" dated April, 1998, it is reported that "Students who are chronic victims of bullying experience more physical and psychological problems than their peers who are not harassed by other children… Studies also suggest that chronically victimized students may as adults be at increased risk for depression, poor self-esteem, and other mental problems, including schizophrenia."

As compiled by the National School Safety Center, the Checklist of Characteristics of Youth Who Have Caused School Related Deaths includes, "Characteristically resorts to name calling, cursing, and uncontrollable angry outbursts", "Habitually makes violent threats when angry", "Has been bullied and/or bullies or intimidates peers or younger children", and "Is often depressed and/or has significant mood swings".

Passive victims are often children who:

Are isolated or alone much of the school day

Are anxious, insecure, and lacking in social skills

Are physically weak and unable to defend themselves

Cry easily and yield when bullied

Have a learning disorder that comprises his/her ability to process and respond to social al cues

Provocative victims tend to:

                                        Become easily emotionally aroused

                                        Maintain the conflict and lose with frustration and distress

                                        Sometimes be children that have been diagnosed with ADHD


From: Bully-Proofing Your School, Sopris-West, 1994


"Early Warning, Timely Response-A Guide to Safe Schools, was issued by the U.S. Department of Education in April, 1998 and backed by Richard W. Riley, Secretary of that organization. In this report, it is stated that " the early warning signs of children that could potentially become violent include children that "…experience emotionally painful rejection…Without support, they may be at risk of expressing their emotional distress in negative ways-including violence."

Dr. Ronald Stephens, Executive Director of the National School Safety Center, made a statement to the United States House of Representatives on April 28, 1998 on "Youth Violence: Coming Soon to a School Near You". In that statement, Dr. Stephens states that "Research involving schoolyard bullies reflects that about 80 percent of bullies were first victims of bullies in the form of parents, peers, siblings, or others. Many victims become perpetrators of crime in response to their own experiences with ridicule, physical punishment, torment, and abuse."

U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics reported on October 14, 1998 that, overall, 9.7% of suburban students in the grades six through twelve reported being bullied during the current school year.

In the year following the Columbine massacre, we can no longer dismiss bullying as "kid stuff". Bullying is dangerous for both the bully and the victim. According to researchers and authorities on school safety, bullying is dangerous to both victims and bullies.