"It's actually part of a longer storyline...this still is told from a flashback point of view for the main character Lianna, who's remembering her childhood running/hiding from bullies on the Lost Ship. For what its worth, this is the caption accompanying the art:
'The bully boys basically took over. They organized into their own little cliques. They kept some of the Smart Boys on, 'cause they knew how to work the ship. Some of the smart girls attached themselves to the bullies in charge.'"