What Every Target of Workplace Bullying Needs to Know

Nursing Student Accused of Bullying

by Carlyn

I am a nursing student, going through a very tough time, being blamed for bullying when I don't think it is. I feel that we are very candid in school and tell our friends our personal stories, experiences, and info, whether related to school or not. We are tight knit, and because of that, we have more to talk about than just school all the time.

I have a lot of stomach problems, and my stomach is constantly growling and making horrible/funny noises. I have two main friends that make fun of me all the time for it. Many other girls know of my problems, and sometimes make comments too. None of them bother me; I am very open about my problems and what goes on with my stomach and digestive processes, in hopes that it will teach them. I had a colonoscopy at a young age which the results found nothing. Then I had a video capsule endoscopy to look for a problem in my small intestine; nothing was found. None of my stomach issues have really changed or gotten better. I'm just used to them.

Anyway, so the other two girls make fun of me for that.. I am engaged and my fiance is white. I am white, and so are my two girlfriends. One of them is in a serious relationship with a black guy, and the other dates only mexican or black guys. Personal choices, right? I dated different races before I found my guy, but I'm happy now. They are too. That's all that matters, right? We make fun of each other though for those things. What's wrong with a little teasing? Obviously if they were to ever cross the line with teasing me, I'd tell them, and vice versa.

My issue is that Sharon and myself were making fun of Lisa *names have been changed* on a popular social networking site. We were commenting back and forth, trying to get a rise out of her. Lisa even chimed in herself and fired her comments back at us.

So some unknown person at school saw this and tattled on us. They think we were being racist and the school is throwing the book at us. It was an inside joke, between FRIENDS. Please help me because I don't even know what to do. I feel like I'm being bullied by the school. I'm accepting my punishment, but still don't think it's fair because they didn't even listen to us when we had to sit down and talk to the higher-ups. I feel so helpless...

Comments for Nursing Student Accused of Bullying

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Bullying or the appearance of bullying?
by: Anonymous

I told my boys from the time they were little, it's not funny unless everyone is laughing and having a good time. Basically what I'm saying is you took your "fun" to an open board that the three of you totally understood the jokes and comments, a fourth person saw and WAS offended. As a bullied person, if you aren't sure and don't want to even have the appearance of bullying, don't do it. You can't read other peoples' minds so keep your comments private. That way there is no misunderstanding between people who have no idea what has happened previously. If people were to see the interraction between my brother, sister and I and not know we're related, they would think we are straight up enemies. Truth is, we're so close you can't pass air between the three of us. So we keep our comments private so other's won't be offended or misunderstand. Never forget, what is posted on a social media site is public for the world to see...and misinterpret.

Reply Nursing Student Accused of Bullying
by: Anonymous

You are training to be a Nurse. This is a very respected position dealing with vulnerable people. It is expected that a Nurse will act in a professional, non-partial, objective, compassionate manner with sensitivity and empathy to all people, at all times.
The comments you describe whilst a joke between you and your friends, were open to misinterpretation. This is what happened and the person who read them was concerned. Your comments 'smack' of racism, even though it was inadvertent. This is an opportunity to learn from the experience and to grow professionally and individually.
My view is that the School is not bullying you, but quite correctly directing your attention to a really important issue. The most worthwhile learning opportunities are painful and this is one of them for you.
My recommendation is that you embrace this opportunity, learn from it and go on to bigger and better things.
All the best

reply to anonymous
by: Anonymous

thank you! you are so very right and I know I should have taken the time to think before I wrote anything. I will in the future and will obviously recommend the same advice for friends. I learned my lesson the hard way and am dealing with the consequences... I'm glad you are teaching your kids. Think before you speak!

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