Overarching tasks faced by initial teacher education (ITE) students comprise a multitude of factors, not least learning to marry theoretical learning with practical application. Part of this learning is the gradual construction of relationships with learners and colleagues. Another, less exposed, challenge arises from a disparity of outlook that can extend to differences in beliefs, values and openness to others. This study focussed on failing final year pre-service teachers. Using a phenomenological method, these student voices were interpreted to reveal instances of discrimination and silencing that emerged during their mandated professional experience. Accounts of inequity, bias and injustice illuminated some contradictions inbuilt into this period as poor relationships and inappropriate power relations became counterproductive in what is presumed to be a developmental and non-negotiable ITE activity. Results highlight some of the unspoken and unquestioned practices in schools and the corresponding agency employed by pre-service teachers as they seek acknowledgement and inclusion.