Winnipeg college students say bullying is forcing them out
CDI College offers to split program group after 4 women raised concerns
CDI College in Winnipeg is offering to split up a group of students in one of its programs, after four students came forward with complaints about bullying in the classroom.
The four women, who are enrolled in the college's 35-week medical office administrator program, told CBC News they feel afraid to go back to the classroom because of the alleged bullying by another female student.
On Thursday, they said they want to leave the nine-month program, just one month before it ends.
"It's killing me to walk. But if it's [for] my safety, I will give up $13,000 and my diploma and leave that school," said Brittany Klym, one of the students.
According to the four women, the bullying started in April and escalated last week.
Crystal Macauley said she was verbally attacked by the alleged bully in a classroom last Friday, and the instructor walked out instead of intervening.
"He left me in that room with her," Macauley said, sobbing.
A number of students who witnessed the incident filed complaints, and one even went to the police to ask for a restraining order, according to the women.
But according to the women, the college's director denied there were any threats or bullying, and the restraining order was not filed.
In response to the students' concerns, CDI College will split up the medical office administrator program class, an official told CBC News on Friday.
However, the college official also said there are conflicting accounts of what happened, and other students in the class have said there were no threats or bullying.
The official also said CDI College has never been contacted by police.
Meanwhile, the Manitoba government says it will look into the matter.
"Bullying is not acceptable, whether it's in a public or private school, which is why government is working to prevent bullying. Schools must be safe so students can feel respected and reach their potential," a government spokesperson said in an email.
The woman accused of bullying the four students has not returned calls from CBC News seeking comment.
Risk losing financial aid
The four concerned students met with financial aid officials on Friday morning in an effort to salvage their education.
However, the students said they were told by Employment Canada and Student Aid that they would lose their financial support if they leave the program.
Macauley and Klym said they were both devastated by the news, adding that they want to be transferred to another school.
Samantha Patson, another one of the students, said she never imagined she would be bullied at a post-secondary institution.
"I don't need to deal with this," she said.
"I don't need this school shoving it under the rug like nothing's happening and pretty much telling us to suck it up because there's one month left to school."