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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
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Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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Waht are the laws in the state of WA on high school coaches

Resolved Question:

Waht are the laws in the state of WA on high school coaches texting players? Even if the player is the captain of the team?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is Ely. I am here to help you. There may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies as I type out a reply. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice; and (2) my function is to give you honest information and not to tell you what you necessarily wish to hear.

This depends. Can you please tell me:

-how old is the player; and
-was the message texted sexually explicit/oriented or generic and not sexually inclined? Did it have anything to do with the actual sport?

This not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. I look forward to helping you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

My daughter is 15. Another player lied about something I said and the coach found out and text the captain of the soccer team at school. Once the captain received the text she told other girls on the team at school and it spread like wild fire. My daughter is now being chastised because of the coaches so called "protocol". He said he always texts the team captain with any team "drama". These girls are 15-18 years old, crazy protocol! Just wondering if there are laws against this. Also, are there laws protecting a player from a coach taking playing time away because a parent has complained.


 

Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Thank you, Jenifer. What exactly was texted? It really depends - what did the coach say in the text?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I didn't see the text, but from what I heard he said I said something negative about another player. The coach has also admitted to texting the captain.

Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Thank you, Jenifer.

There is nothing illegal about texting a player outside of school under the Revised Code of Washington (RCW), per se.

Criminal
It is illicit to solicit or groom any child for sexual purposes under Chapter 9a.44 RCW and federal laws. However, since this is not the case, then this does not apply.

Civil Defamation
It is civilly unlawful and actionable to publish any false remark. If this is done, it is called "defamation" and the individual who was defamed may sue the coach for the falsity. A defamation plaintiff must establish four essential elements to recover: (1) falsity; (2) an unprivileged communication; (3) fault; and (4) damages. Mark v. Seattle Times, 96 Wn.2d 473, 486, 635 P.2d 1081 (1981); Sims v. KIRO, Inc., 20 Wn. App. 229, 233, 580 P.2d 642 (1978); Restatement (Second) of Torts § 558 (1977). However, it must be the defamed individual who is to bring this action. If it was your daughter that was defamed, she can technically bring a defamation claim against anyone spreading rumors about her. While this is actionable, the mere threat of a suit may be enough to stifle any future improper actions.

Administrative
However, just because it is not unlawful does not mean that it can be done. If a parent has a serious issue with the communication to the player by the coach, the parent may bring this up with the school's administration. The general explanation that this is "improper" and the threat of taking this to the district and/or even the media is likely to lead the school to prohibit future practice of this "protocol."

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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 86552
Experience: Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
Ely and 6 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank You for this information. I would love to offer you a tip, but funds are very tight at this time. I'm really sorry, but our conversation was not real long, therefore I feel the $58 I already paid to have you respond was well worth your time. Thank You. Jenifer

Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
You are most welcome Jenifer and no apology necessary - good luck!

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