Any adult who is short knows that some people will underestimate them, simply because of their size. But a new study suggest that negative bias also impacts children - - and it often comes from people who should know better.
At 18 years old, Michael Stuckey is 5 foot 6. "They call me shrimp, or shorty."
Stephen Lee, 19 years old, is 5-5. "There's a lot of names and quick comments that people make just to try and make you feel bad."
And Justin Ngalame is 5-2, 17 years old. "I get picked on a lot… because of my height."
But it's not just their peers. A new study suggests that teachers discriminate against boys who are short. The Journal of Education Research reports that Kindergarten teachers view short boys as less skilled in reading, writing and math - - even though when tested, they do just as well as their classmates.
Psychologist, Charles Williams says, "Let's face it, I mean I think our society puts a premium on size… certainly height."
Experts also say that in many cases teachers may not even be aware of their bias - - and that parents should bring it up.
Dr. Olga Jarrett is a Professor of Education. "I think sometimes just talking about the issue and the teacher knowing that parent is paying attention- the teacher will then change his or her behavior."
What experts recommend to parents is something they already know - - if your boy isn't very tall, remind him that kindness, talent and character can not be measured with a yardstick.
Dr. Williams said, "And whatever you focus on you strengthen, and so if you help them focus on what their strengths are then they can feel better about who they are and hope that the rest of it takes care of itself over time."
Justin says for boys whoa re short he has advice, "Keep your head up, keep doing what you do, you know, be yourself."