Class teacher telling me off for going on my phone when someone else in my class is on her phone too, that person is not getting told off but I am.

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    It is unfairness, discrimination, preferential treatment or any number of synonyms. Or victimisation, bullying. It depends on what you want to say. Nov 10, 2020 at 11:25

2 Answers 2


It would depend on why the other person is not being told off.

If there is some kind of difference between you and the other person, it may be described as discrimination. You may also hear it described as a “double standard”. In more serious circumstances it may be the case that the telling off constitutes bullying or harassment.

In more casual situations, one common idiom that might be used in a situation like this is the word “favouritism”. This word is often used somewhat flippantly or casually, and serves to highlight the discrepancy in a perhaps somewhat playful manner, and doesn’t particularly carry any negativity or serious accusation with it. For example, you may hear someone exclaim, “That’s favouritism!”, in a playful tone of feigned outrage.


You could say that you feel you've been targeted or singled out. Each of these means that you were chosen out of a group that also could have been chosen, but wasn't. In context, it would be understood that you mean to say this was done unfairly. You can also be explicit and use the adverb "unfairly" yourself: "unfairly targeted", "unfairly singled out".

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