The bullying at the elementary-school level is depicted as being pretty intense. In various scenes, Chrissa and her classmate Gwen are tormented by a group of three "mean girls" in their class. With Chrissa, in particular, the problem compounds as she keeps quiet about the situation and resists going to her parents or an adult for help.
While she is at swimming practice, the mean girls take Chrissa's clothes out of her bag and throw them in the garbage can in the locker room. Chrissa ends up having to pull them out herself.
Chrissa's grandmother is dealing with the death of her husband, and in some scenes, we see her very sad and on the brink of tears. It might end up being a discussion point for parents and their children.
One of the girls in Chrissa's class, Gwen, is revealed as a homeless person. She lives at an undisclosed shelter with her single mother, who is trying to find a job. Gwen is very embarrassed by this, and when the mean girls find out, it causes problems for her.
Led by Tara, the mean girls offer to cut Gwen's hair so she can have bangs. Tara does it herself, but she botches it on purpose, creating a mess with Gwen's hair. After she does this, Tara says, "Now you really look like a homeless person!" Gwen is very upset and does not return to school for several days.
Tara stabs Chrissa in the back with a pencil. There is no blood or serious injury, though, and Chrissa ends up being just fine, but it does hurt her.
One of the characters has an accident at swim practice. See "Violence and Gore" for more information.
There are some scenes where Chrissa imagines in her head that she is either standing up to the mean girls or watching an adult give them their "come-uppance." In one scene, Chrissa pulls their hair, making them scream. In another scene, Tara is "on trial" for stealing Chrissa's permission slip, and she is convicted for it. In a third scene, Chrissa literally blows Tara out of the room with a blow dryer. Again, it is all in Chrissa's mind, and it isn't necessarily frightening, but it could be categorized as "dark humor" to some.