Bigger kids take what they want and hurt who they want and get away with itAnd all I can say is, really? I mean, seriously, is lunch money robbery a common occurrence in most of America? How much fighting really goes on in American schools?
Physical violence should not be tolerated in schools, but I don't have the impression that it is. At the schools my kids go to, people are suspended for pretty minor acts.
As for words, well, people insult each other, and yes it hurts. But I am not sure what adults can or should do about it. I was certainly taunted a fair amount, especially in middle school. I reveled in it. My friends and I responded to insults with our own system of counter taunts: when people called us weirdos, we said, "Yeah, well you're ordinary." (This after an extended debate over whether normal or ordinary was a worse insult.) Or, sometimes, "Thank you!" That we were despised by most of the student body was to us a badge of pride. Thinking it over, we probably greatly exaggerated the degree to which the rest of the school did despise us, because it made us feel more important. I remember those as good years, though. I was not taunted in high school, and that was for me a much more unhappy time.
I know that I didn't fit the profile of the bullied child very well. I was tall, and modestly athletic, and one of the top students in the school, certain by the 3rd grade that I was on my way to Stanford or Yale and a great if unspecified future. But I think I and the rest of the nerds at Lincoln Junior High responded to our would-be tormentors in the right way: we ignored them or fired back, as circumstances dictated, and banded together for mutual support. Insults are cruel, but to be too much hurt by them is weakness. What children need is sources of strength. We should shame bullies when we can, but since we cannot (I submit) cleanse the world of hurtful words, what we need to do is to help children cope with them.