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INFOLAWYER
INFOLAWYER, Attorney
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Experience:  Licensed attorney helping individuals and businesses
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Are public school teachers protected by the laws against defamation

Resolved Question:

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.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  INFOLAWYER replied 2 years ago.
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.

S122953

SUPREME COURT OF CALIFORNIA

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 2 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?
Expert:  INFOLAWYER replied 2 years ago.
Loss of employment or demotion would result in lost income and opportunity which satisfy the injury element.
Customer: replied 2 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?
Expert:  INFOLAWYER replied 2 years ago.
No but that person may be a useful witness to help establish what happened and when it happened.
Customer: replied 2 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.
Expert:  INFOLAWYER replied 2 years ago.
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, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 50515
Experience: Licensed attorney helping individuals and businesses
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