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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 9832
Experience:  JD, MBA
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I work as a substitute teacher (part time) for the local schools.

Customer Question

I work as a substitute teacher (part time) for the local schools. Without my knowledge, some misbehaving students recorded themselves standing around me doing all sorts of silly things. Someone posted this somewhere one the internet.

I got called to the principal's office and felt as though my job was being threatened over this. Can I force the school system to release to me the web site in order to contact them and have them either remove it immediately, along with cancelling the guilty party/parties account(s) of risk a defamation action?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hello and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you.

Yes, you could force the school to release the information to you, but only as part of a lawsuit or an anticipated lawsuit. For example, if you were to sue the students for defamation, then you could subpoena the information from the school. The problem is that the school may not take kindly to that kind of trouble, and it may opt to terminate your employment. Accordingly, I would not likely attempt to force the school to do anything, unless you are no longer working there, or you expect not to work there in the future. If I were you, I would simply ask the school for the information, and if they refuse, then I would likely drop it unless you know that you are going to sue, and you do not mind looking for a new job in the near future.

Does that answer your question? Please let me know if you need clarification, as I am happy to continue helping you until you are satisfied. Also, your positive feedback is much appreciated. Thank you for using our service!

If you would like to direct additional legal questions to me in the future, then please type "To VAMD" in the subject line of your question.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 9832
Experience: JD, MBA
TJ, Esq. and 4 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

This answer is typical of what I get often.


 


The little guy who has his rights violated can rarely achieve justice without fear of retaliation. Is there no way to protect your rights and reputation without being threatened by BOTH the perpetrators and the administrative people? This should not be. I resent being bullied by both sides of this issue.

Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hi again.

Q: Is there no way to protect your rights and reputation without being threatened by BOTH the perpetrators and the administrative people?

A: The problem is that your rights end when it infringes on another person's (or in this case, entity's) rights. The school has the right to determine who it employs. As an analogy, if you owned a business and had an employee who got himself in a situation that put your business in a bad light, you may opt to fire the employee to spare your business from bad publicity even though it was not necessarily the employee's fault. You'd likely think that it would be unfair to you as a business owner if your freedom to choose your employees was taken away. That's obviously not a perfect analogy, and I'm not trying to defend the school if they were to let you go because of this situation (it may very well be quite unfair). I'm just pointing out that the school has rights and interests as well, and what you suggest (that the school should not be permitted to terminate you) is likely an infringement on those rights and interests. The school does not want to be involved in a lawsuit, they do not want to incur attorney's fees, and they do not want bad publicity. Again, I'm not trying to defend the school, but merely pointing out how the situation may look from the school's perspective if you were to subpoena the information, and pointing out that the school has rights and interests in this situation as well.

Having said that, if you have a union, then your job may be protected. You'd need to review your rights under the union agreement, as it may state that sub. teachers can only be fired "for cause" (which means that you can only be fired for violating a policy). To be honest, I think that is unlikely, but it may be worth researching.

In any event, I'm terribly sorry that my answer was not the good news that you had hoped for. Unfortunately, I can merely report the law to you ... I cannot change it. Moreover, you presumably were seeking an honest answer, so I didn't want to sugarcoat it or gives you false hope. However, if your concerns were not satisfactorily addressed, then please let me know, and I will be happy to clarify my answer. I do ask that you rate me based upon whether I answered your question, and not based upon whether the answer was good news or bad news. Your positive feedback is greatly appreciated. Thank you for using our service!

If you would like to direct additional legal questions to me in the future, then please type "To VAMD" in the subject line of your question.

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