Signs of bullying in middle school

Middle school can be a hard time for many kids, and bullies can make it even worse. Kids who learn and think differently may stand out and be more at risk for bullying. Learn about the different types of bullying and signs to look out for.


What might be happening: Every morning before class, another student trips your child in the hallway and laughs.

What you might be seeing: You notice some bruises. When you ask what happened, your child says it was an accident. But your child seems scared and asks to skip going on the class overnight trip.


What might be happening: Whenever your child is called to the board to solve math problems, other kids groan. They say things like, “Well, this will take all day....”

What you might be seeing: Your child keeps saying “I’m stupid” and starts avoiding homework. Teachers tell you that your child isn’t speaking or participating much in classes.

Social isolation

What might be happening: Every day at lunch your child goes from table to table looking for a seat. Another child says loudly, “Stop bothering us. Don’t you have any friends?”

What you might be seeing: Your child comes home every day hungry or with an uneaten lunch. You ask why your child didn’t eat at school. Your child mumbles something about spending the lunch period alone in the library.


What might be happening: Every time your child logs on to social media, a classmate has posted rude messages on your child’s public profile.

What you might be seeing: Your child is quiet after school and seems withdrawn. Your child stays in their room until called down to dinner, and then doesn’t talk much at the table.

Worried about bullying? Find out what to do if you think your child is being bullied. And get a one-page fact sheet on bullying you can share with others.

About the author

About the author

Lexi Walters Wright is the former community manager at Understood. As a writer and editor, she helps parents make more informed choices for their children and for themselves.

Reviewed by

Reviewed by

Sheldon H. Horowitz, EdD is senior director of learning resources and research at the National Center for Learning Disabilities.