How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask INFOLAWYER Your Own Question
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 53573
Experience:  Licensed attorney helping individuals and businesses
Type Your Legal Question Here...
INFOLAWYER is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Are public school teachers protected by the laws against defamation

This answer was rated:

Are public school teachers protected by the laws against defamation of character, slander and libel? If a teacher's reputation is damaged by slanderous FALSE statements made by a minor student, does the teacher have any protection from such slander? Can a teacher sue for defamation of character? Can the minor student's parents be named in such a law suit? Can an administrator be named in a suit if the administrator collaborated with the slander?

It is one thing to protect children from child abuse... But it is another when students make false accusations against a teacher and that teacher's reputation is damaged/ or her career is harmed.
Teachers have standing to pursue a defamation claim. If done by a minor, the claim would be against parent as guardian. To prevail, one has to show false statements made to others causing financial loss. see

2006 Cal. LEXIS 13529,*;40 Cal. 4th 33;
146 P.3d 510;51 Cal. Rptr. 3d 55

STEPHEN J. BARRETT et al., Plaintiffs and Appellants, v. ILENA ROSENTHAL, Defendant and Respondent.



40 Cal. 4th 33; 146 P.3d 510; 51 Cal. Rptr. 3d 55; 2006 Cal. LEXIS 13529; 34 Media L. Rep. 2537; 2006 Cal. Daily Op. Service 10651; 2006 Daily Journal DAR 15188

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your initial response. In the case of defamation of a teacher's character, what kind of financial losses would be required as proof? If the teacher is not dismissed from employment, but her reputation is damaged, is there no way to prevail?
Loss of employment or demotion would result in lost income and opportunity which satisfy the injury element.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for the clarification. Additionally, if a school administrator has collected written statements from minor students and the statements are also false, defamatory, and slanderous can the administrator also be named in a defamation suit?
No but that person may be a useful witness to help establish what happened and when it happened.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
When the administrator met with the minor students and asked them to write down their complaints about the teacher then their defamatory, slanderous statements became libelous. I do not think the teacher would want that administrator as a witness. On the contrary, due to the actions of the principal, the students have also committed libel against the teacher. I don't think I'd want the principal to be a witness. Please explain further.
The claim should only pursue against those who made them. Seeking to add others makes it look like a fishing expedition and a stretch and should be avoided. Those people can be subpoenaed for information and forced to testify. Good luck. Kindly click accept.
INFOLAWYER and 11 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you