PBS Kids GO! It's My Life
Bullies: Who's A Target?

Do you feel like you have a big target on your forehead, or maybe a sign on your back that says "Bully Me!" You're not alone. People who do research about bullies found that roughly 25% (that's 1 out of 4) kids experience bullying.

What makes someone that "one" out of the four? Here are some possible reasons:

  • He's a different size -- smaller or bigger -- than most of other kids their age.
  • She falls into some type of "minority": African-American kids at a mostly white school, girls in a shop class that's crowded with boys, etc.
  • There's something that makes him stand out, like a disability that makes him walk or talk differently, or even just his name.
  • She gets anxious or upset very easily.
  • He doesn't have any or many friends and is usually alone.
  • She doesn't have a lot of confidence and doesn't seem like she'll stand up for herself.

Some kids get bullied as a result of a single thing that happened, like an embarrassing moment that took place in front of other people.

You may even find yourself a bully target for no particular reason! Maybe the bully ran out of people to pick on, or you were in the wrong place at the wrong time when someone was feeling particularly mean.

Usually, once someone is singled out by a bully, other people will know that person is a target and start bullying her or him, too.

If you're a bully "target," you have something in common with famous people like Tom Cruise, Mel Gibson, Harrison Ford, and Michelle Pfeiffer. These celebrities have all talked about their own experiences with being bullied. It happens to the best of us!

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