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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Education Law
Satisfied Customers: 30382
Experience:  Lawyer
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A fellow student in my class that has said terrible things

Customer Question

a fellow student in my class that has said terrible things thay are lies to instructors and other classmates. one of the things could have had me kicked out of Cosmetology alome. but nobody has believed her so at 46 yrs old I decided to ignore her. then 3 weeks ago a friend decides to tell me that the new director and Dr.? can't remember her name when I need it. but anyway it was the doctor and thehead of my dept questioned several classmates on what they knew about some very private personal things a student had toldthem I was doing on school property.He told me the wording they used and I was floored. I;ve fought very hard to get my GED and asked if my record would stop me from being employed. I was told not at all. Your past has no bearing on your future here at Miller Motte. They asked what they knew of my tricking in the parking lot. First I've not done anything to make anyone think I'm prostituting. I can barely make myself show up anymore. They asked what I did on my lunch break walking in the church parking lot. for the record when I call my husband or daughter it's nobodys business what I say. And I wasn't aware it was illegal to walk around on our 30min lunch break. my husband drops me off in the am and picks me up in the evening. I get all teary eyed everytime I think about it. And one student said ask Cynthia because she DON"T lie. Why are you asking us when she's not even here? well the followimg
JA: I'm just trying to get information to help you. Can you tell me what state this is in? And do you know who owns the lot?
Customer: Tennessee. Chattanooga and that's not the end the director and the doctor called me into their office telling me it would be impossible for me to make up my hours. and if I go on an interview and one of my classmates work there,i certainly couldn't get a job there. they almost had me convinced to give up. as far as I know the church which is under construction has a fence around where you can't goI in no way deserved the treatment they gave me. And why do they need to know where I go when I leave school all fixed up. I fix up for me and I was told to look like a hair dresser when at work.My husband owns a lawn care business and I usually have to help him finish his last job so we can get home and make sure my 9yr old son is fed, hw etcDo they have the right to go on a witch hunt? none of my classmates speak to me anymore. I used to love to make people feel good about themselves now I can't stand going in.
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: As far as I know,they are trying to act like nothing happened. Not so easy if you are the one labeled. The Director found a way for me to make up 10x's the original 8 hours I was behind.But the woman DR?? gives me looks like I disgust her.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: i could go on but that's enough for now . i just want to know what my options are. And I can't just let it go. I;m a very strong woman ,the next one they mess with might not be as sure of themselves as I am. And they almost made me quit and had me thinking I was wrong for making a few calls out of ear shot of all the nosy people standing around with nothing better todo than listen to my conversations and spread lies. I;m not all friendly to people I don't know and trust.I keep to myself and am not that interesting,so why are they up my butt for anyway?
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Education Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 month ago.

Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this is happening.

Making up untrue statements of fact and spreading them to destroy a person's reputation is defamation of character. When a statement goes to someone's chastity or accuses them of committing a crime, reputational harm will be presumed. Calling someone a prostitute qualifies under both of those categories. Once you establish that statements were made, the judge will assume your reputation suffered without you having to bring in additional witnesses to prove it.

Since they're essentially costing you the money you spent on your classes, you can request that they be ordered to reimburse you those amounts. If you can prove that they stopped you from getting a job by making up lies about you, you can ask the judge to order them to pay you the salary you would have gotten but for their malicious and unacceptable behavior.

Each of the students who repeated these things about you can be sued as part of the same lawsuit. And you can also request punitive damages, which means the judge will look at the things they said and decide how much they should have to pay.

A lawyer isn't required here, and unless any of these students has significant assets, it may be hard to find someone to take the case. But you can seek up to $25,000 in Small Claims. Small claims is designed so people can represent themselves - your local court should have forms to open the case. You can sue them all together. And a judgment is good for years, so you have plenty of time to recover even if they're not making a lot of money now.

If you have any questions or concerns about my response, please reply WITHOUT RATING. It's important that you are 100% satisfied with my courtesy and professionalism. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so I am paid for the time I spend answering questions. If you are on a mobile device, you may need to scroll to the right. There is no charge for follow-up questions. Thank you.

Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 month ago.

Do you have any questions about this?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I don't believe you fully understand what my main concern in this situation is. The dean or the equivalent of and the head instructor Ms. Victoria called several classmates and questioned them without even giving me the benefit of a doubt and asking me about said alligations until 2 days later when the new director and the doctor(dean) called me into an office and interrogated me for a short time. I was open honest and they tried to scare and intimidate me. But I soon took control of my interrogation. Its the school administrators that got all this stirred up and spread the accusations as fact while asking about me and what i do with my free time. A student went to the administration but they are the ones who continue asking questions in my absence. I had to take a leave bc im sick of the treatment.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 month ago.

I understand what happened, and I'm sorry for what you experienced. Your case is against the students who spread the rumors. I thought it was better to focus on the areas where you DO have a recourse, but I should have spelled out why you are not likely to be successful against the school. They have an obligation to investigate reported issues with their school, especially if someone is accused of committing a crime on school property. To win a lawsuit against them, you'd have to show that they knew the rumors were false and propagated them anyway. There isn't a specific cause of action against them for investigating.