It occurs because of many factors such as: Race/Ethnicity. Gender/Sexual identity. Being new at something i.e. school, job, or a team. Someone that stands out. Your style. Grades. Hair style. Your body. And many other factors.

Numerous researchers, educators, and psychologists have theories about why bullying occurs. Although these groups have different semantics for explaining why bullying occurs, there is always a common theme: power and control. From my own experience of dealing with students who have been bullied and students who behave as bullies, it’s clear to me that dominating others provides an element of control to the individual doing the bullying. As Wolk (2010) noted,

“Bullies are about power and control, and confronting them or stepping in to stop them usurps their sense of power.”

Unfortunately, in many instances, school officials deal with incidents of bullying much too late. By the time intervention occurs, the psychological damage and pain has become almost indelible. This damage affects not only the bully and the target(s), it also affects the bystanders. Wolk (2010) states,

“Most bystanders do not like witnessing another person being bullied. It puts one into an uncomfortable psychological state known as cognitive dissonance to witness a bullying incident and do nothing about it. Cognitive dissonance occurs when our actions do not match our internal code of ethics and morality/”