Experts do not exactly understand why some students are targeted as victims and others are not.
When we look at research, physical characteristics are not clear indicators. Unusually tall or short children, children with braces or glasses, and children with freckles or weight problems are often teased, but this does not mean they will become a serious and persistent victim of bullying. However, studies show that the best indicator for whether or not a child will be targeted is usually how they react to teasing.
Interview with Dr. Rona Novick for Operation Survival’s Prevention101series.
Bullying is about power. If a bully teases a child because he or she is much shorter than the other children, but that child shrugs it off and doesn’t seem bothered, then that child is not a likely victim. A child who is teased and runs out of the room crying has shown the bully that he or she has power over the child.
About Dr. Rona Novick
Dr. Novick is the Dean of the Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration at Yeshiva University and holds the Raine and Stanley Silverstein Chair in Professional Ethics and Values.