I can personally say being told to 'toughen up' doesn't always help, nor does it work for everyone. From grade 2 all the way up through 11th grade I was bullied. I changed schools so so so many times. I was in and out of 6 schools from grades 2-5. And 3 schools from 6-8, and 3 from 9-11. All different. Because the principals at the elementary schools couldn't care less nor did they do anything. In middle school, the kids acted perfect after they got in trouble, and then went back to it. And in High School I got slammed into so many lockers and such it just wasn't funny. I ended up dropping 4 classes in 10th to avoid the kids, and got a year behind in school, and junior year the same thing happened...and come senior year I was 2.5 years behind credit wise and because of the bullying being so bad I ended up dropping out.
I will say I tried to stand up to those who were nasty, and it didn't work, they just found something new to torture me with. And now since leaving the whole school scene, I just don't care what people say to me, cause they don't matter. I figured out if I have to stand up to someone or feel like I have to prove them wrong for them to leave me alone, it must mean I must've believed them about whatever it was they were saying at the time. I've gotten a whole lot rougher around the edges since all of the school bullying and drama.
It's different for everyone. Some things work for some people that may not work for others. For me it was fighting and running consistently, trying to succeed and then finding another way to succeed after all my resources in the school world were exhausted.
*went on a major rant there*