Signs of Possible Victimization

In addition to looking for the general characteristics that are typical of bullying victims, adults should also tune in to the following more specific signs that a student is being harassed:


 Leaves school with torn or disordered clothing and/or damaged books

 Has bruises, injuries, cuts, and scratches that are not easily explained


 Does not bring classmates or other peers home after school and seldom
spends time in the homes or playgrounds of classmates

 May not have a single good friend to share free time with (play, shopping,
sports and musical events, chatting on the phone, etc.)

 Is seldom or never invited to parties and may not be interested in arranging
parties (because they expect nobody wants to come)

 Appears afraid or reluctant to go to school in the morning, has poor appetite,
repeated headaches, or stomach pains (particularly in the morning)

 Does not participate in extracurricular activities such as school clubs

 Chooses an "illogical" route for going to and from school

 Has restless sleep (e.g., bad dreams, crying)

 Loses interest in school work and gets lower grades

 Appears unhappy, sad, depressed, or shows unexpected mood shifts with
irritability and sudden outbursts of temper

 Requests or steals extra money from family (to accommodate the demands of

Adapted from: Olweus, D. (1994). Bullying at School: What We Know and What We Can Do. Williston, VT: Blackwell Publishers. Available on-line at: