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Joseph Leon
Joseph Leon, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 438
Experience:  General practitioner; all areas of law; practicing 15 years; licensed in 4 states.
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What course of action should I take if a Principal and teacher

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What course of action should I take if a Principal and teacher are making slanderous remarks and accusations against my daughter?
You would sue them for defamation. Slander if it is spoken. Libel if it is written.

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Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Can I do this through small claims or would it be better to hire an attorney.

You can certainly do this through small claims. My suggestion would be to read over the following materials I am giving you, and see if you feel comfortable proceeding without an attorney.

First, here is a link to Small Claims Handbook - A Guide for Non-Lawyers that is published by the Colorado Courts. http://dl.getdropbox.com/u/469710/Small%20Claims%20Handbook%20-%20A%20Guide%20for%20Non-Lawyers.pdf

Second, here is a link to the Colorado Courts web page on small claims. http://www.courts.state.co.us/Forms/Forms_List.cfm/Form_Type_ID/9
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I am providing you with the following information because my phone text requested more information about my situation. Is the following information enough to be able to take to court for slander? Daughter was student at private christian school where I taught. Girl accused her of telling others in High School she was a snitch. Principal was inappropriate in resolving issue by accusing daughter of being rebellious in attitude, dividing the high school and haugty in spirit for not admitting guilt. Two other incidents of like accusations happened and again Principal was inappropriate in resolving issue. I as a parent was never given any written documents showing any error or insubordination on daughters part. Clique of girls continued feeding false information to Principal. I forsaw that there was no end to their accusations. I did not want daughter expelled or suspended. Writing on wall that this was Principal's next step. I pulled my daughter out of the school, I resigned a week later along with pulling my son who was a senior. In January of 2009 slanderous remarks have surfaced and are even on going today. They consist of my daughter being accused of pairing up with student at school and having sex with him, encouraging student to steal money for retaliation against school due to hatred of teachers, teacher telling students that they should be glad my daughter is gone because she is a backstabber, gossiper, scorner...the list goes on.. The Principal is married to the teacher who is also making these remarks. She even at one point took aside my former 1st and 2nd grade class to find out what I told them why I left the school. They told her because of my daughter was being hurt by the girls in the high school...the teacher proceeded to tell them that was not true but that my daughter was the one hurting others. With all this said my daughter was so hurt that this teacher would say this to her "little" friends that she had an emotional break down and had thoughts of suicide. It has gotten so bad that this is why I am researching what to do as this has to stop so that my daughter has peace of mind. Their is much, much more but this is a good overview what is happening. I thought once we left the school the accusations would stop but they haven't. I do have credible witnesses, parents who support me and students willing to testify. I have statements from students who have heard these remarks. I have e-mails and text messages that verify this administrations accusations and slanderous remarks.
A lot of that sounds pretty defamatory.

Under common law, slander traditionally was actionable per se if it fell into one of four categories:

  • imputations of criminal conduct
  • allegations injurious to another in their trade, business, or profession
  • imputations of loathsome disease
  • imputations of unchastity in a woman
Also, there is slander pro quod depends on context and the interpretation of the listener. It means that a person would have to have what's called extrinsic knowledge to understand the statement as defamatory. For example, a former employer wrongly says he saw you drinking whiskey in a bar, a statement that could be problematic if the person the employer is talking to knows you were court-ordered last year to stay sober.