My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened.
Under the First Amendment, the press has freedom to print news that they feel is fit for publication. The only limitation is that the press cannot print information that they know is untrue, or if they used a knowing and reckless disregard of the truth or falsity of the information. N.Y. Times v. Sullivan
, 376 U.S. 254 (1964).
If the information posted is not true, then the teacher may have a cause of action for defamation
of character. If people are posting untrue, factual information in the comments that tend to harm the reputation of the teacher, then those people could be sued for defamation. The teacher could subpeona information from the website regarding who posted the comments, if there was a pending website. The teacher could also ask the newspaper to edit the article so that there are no additional comments. A person can also request a retraction of incorrect information (which they should post). But, unfortunately, because newspapers have such a high level of protection under the First Amendment, there is unfortunately no way to force a newspaper to delete or retract a story that contains accurate information, just because it is unfavorable to the subject.
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