What do you call those students that are affected by the situation but not involved in it?

For example,

a student bullies a teacher and lowers the teacher's teaching effectiveness by 15%, this effects all of the students in his classes.

  • victim, right ? – elsadek Feb 12 '16 at 6:03
  • Welcome to ELU. How appropriate a word is may depend on how you use it in a sentence. Please add a sample to your question, as required by single-word-requests (hover over the tag to see more information). – Lawrence Feb 12 '16 at 7:15
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    The military version of this is the infamous 'collateral damage'. – tom Feb 12 '16 at 7:46
  • They are hapless victims – Jim Feb 13 '16 at 5:45

Depending on the intended effect you could use a few terms:

  1. Collateral as in Collateral Damage.
    A military term where civilians were unintentionally killed or injured for various reasons in the heat of battle. For example: an enemy hides inside a hospital with civilians inside; the other side has no idea that civilians are present and obliterates the hospital. The civilians and damage to the hospital are collateral damage.
  2. Acceptable Losses
    Another military term for essentially a necessary sacrifice. In your example suppose the teacher has a history for forcing an ideology down the throats of their students and the bully acts out in response. This would be a moral response and to them the fact that other students are affected negatively would be classified as an acceptable loss, since a moral code was violated.
  3. Friendly Fire
    Yet another military term were someone on a side is wounded or killed by someone on the same side. This is more deliberate due to an error in judgement but can still be an accident. For example someone has a secondary mission and wears an enemy uniform. Someone on the same side sees the friendly in an enemy uniform but doesn't know it's a friendly. The friendly is then killed and later on the killer finds out that he actually committed friendly fire.

Personally in your situation I'd use Collateral Damage.


Military doublespeak is bad enough when it occurs in mlilitary contexts, so it might be counter-productive to apply it in the civilian world. Why not use 'bystander'?

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    A bystander is someone present but not involved at all; neither accidentally or purposefully. – user156962 Feb 12 '16 at 10:00

How about blowback victims?

blowback: the unforeseen negative consequences of an action or decision. YourDictionary


Consider passive victims,

Accepting or allowing what happens or what others do, without active response or resistance


In your example, the teacher was the (active) victim of bullying and other students were passive victims because they neither stopped the bully nor tried to resist the act of bullying and ended up being harmed.

You may be aware of passive smokers, people who don't themselves smoke but still get affected by smokers around them.


"Byproduct" would be good one. According to MW, it means "something that is produced during the process of destruction of something else."


"Repercussion" would be good. It means "something usually bad or something usually bad or unpleasant that happens as a result of an action, statement, etc., and that usually affects people for a long time"

As a former teacher, I can attest that bulling the teacher has repercussive implications on the entire classroom.

I know that my response doesn't answer the question, but it is more useful than any term that currently exists that substitutes a word for that person or people who are inadvertently affected by this action.

But if you had to pick a word, I suppose "collateral" would be best, despite the heavy imagery of war or violence it may entail.

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