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 P. Simmons Your Own Question

P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 27019
Experience:  16 yrs. of trial experience
11181181
Type Your Legal Question Here...
P. Simmons is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My 11 year old son was accused by another student of stating

Resolved Question:

My 11 year old son was accused by another student of stating on school grounds that my son was going to screw his girlfriend at school and at home and that he gave details of what he was going to do to her. I was not called at home until 4 hours after the accusation. The principal did not conduct a proper investigation, took the girl at her word, put my son up on stage in the lunchroom at a "reflections' table where everyone could see him including his accuser who was telling everyone why he was there, and the principal called my son's girlfriend's parents and told them what my son said. Can I sue the principal, the school and the district of Plum in Pittsburgh pa of Defamation, wrongful accusation, negligence, prevention of bullying?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
Hi, My name is Philip. I am an attorney with over 16 years experience. Hopefully I can help you with your legal question.

You can sue. It certainly is possible. Though you have a few hurdles to overcome.

First, it is important to understand the limits of what you can sue for.

You ask about a lawsuit for

Defamation, wrongful accusation, negligence, prevention of bullying?

Based on your description, I agree this would be defamation if the principal was lying. But there is no cause of action (lawsuit you can file) for "wrongful accusation". It would, in essence, be the same as defamation.

Defamation is defined as a false statement of fact that harms the reputation of another. Example, if A says to B "C is a convicted felon" and C is not, in fact, a convicted felon, if C's reputation is harmed by this statement C can sue A for the harm suffered.

In this case, if the principal lied about you and that harmed your reputation in the community? You could certainly sue the principal as well as the district. But to win a judgment you would need to prove how the lie harmed you.

Example, if you were a business owner and the lie harmed your business? You could sue for the money lost.

What you describe, it sounds like the lie was about your son. If so you would need to prove how this harmed his reputation to sue. And that can be very tough to do...unless you have evidence to show how the lie specially harmed him or his ability to work/live his life, you may have a tough time collecting a judgment over a nominal amount.

So it may be you have a case, but it is not worth enough to pay the legal fees required to prosecute (you have to pay your own lawyers costs)


And you can sue for negligence IF you can show harm. But the same principal of damages applies...you would have to prove how you or your son were specifically harmed by this. To the extent you can prove damages you can sue.

Now...you ask about suing to stop bullying. This is something you can sue for...the court can order the school district to take specific steps to keep your child safe. If you have gone to the school district and they will take steps to protect your child, you can absolutely sue and get a court order to the district to take steps to prevent you child from being bullied.

Let me know if you have more questions, happy to help if I can

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I am not fully understanding your last statement about suing to stop bullying. Is that just insurance for my son's safety?

Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
Sorry for the confusion Ma'am

Generally speaking you can not sue the district or the principal regarding bullying in order to receive money.

But you CAN sue and ask the court to order the district to take specific action to protect your son. This is called "specific performance" and is one of the powers that the court has...basically the court can order a person or an organization to take action (like, for example, to take action to ensure safety of children)

In order to do this, you would first need to go to the district and demand they take steps to solve this problem. If you do that? And the district refuses to take steps to keep your child safe, you can then sue.

I use the term "keep your child safe" since that is a duty of the school district.

The district has a duty to ensure the safety of the children in school. If there is bullying at school, and that bullying is creating a safety risk for children the district is required to take steps to stop it.

If they refuse to do so? The court can order it

Now...you would have to prove your case. THe court is only going to give an order to the district if you can prove that they are not protecting the children (your child in particular). SO you would have to tie this to safety. But if the district is aware of bullying and not addressing it? That is a safety issue

P. Simmons, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 27019
Experience: 16 yrs. of trial experience
P. Simmons and 4 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Last | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Not only did he answer my Michigan divorce question but was also able to help me out with it, too. I have since won my legal case on this matter and thank you so much for it. Lee Michigan
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8436
    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MU/multistatelaw/2011-11-27_173951_Tinaglamourshotworkglow102011.64x64.jpg Tina's Avatar

    Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8436
    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RA/ratioscripta/2012-6-13_2955_foto3.64x64.jpg Ely's Avatar

    Ely

    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    19941
    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/FL/FLAandNYLawyer/2012-1-27_14349_3Fotolia25855429M.64x64.jpg FiveStarLaw's Avatar

    FiveStarLaw

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    8189
    25 years of experience helping people like you.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/jespoag/2008-12-17_222355_jessepic.jpg JPEsq's Avatar

    JPEsq

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    2132
    Experience as general attorney, in house counsel, SSDI, Family Law attorney, and law professor
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/gsenmartin/2008-04-22_214950_me1.jpg Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.'s Avatar

    Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    110
    7+ years of experience handling various legal matters.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PA/PaulmoJD/2013-10-10_195858_JAImage.64x64.jpg Law Educator, Esq.'s Avatar

    Law Educator, Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    31621
    JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/dkaplun/2009-05-17_173121_headshot_1_2.jpg Dimitry K., Esq.'s Avatar

    Dimitry K., Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    15975
    Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
 
 
 

Related Legal Questions

Chat Now With A Lawyer
P. Simmons
P. Simmons
Lawyer
27019 Satisfied Customers
16 yrs. of trial experience