Legal Issues of Slander and Libel that affect students and teachers
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The Disturbing Trend of Cyber Bullying Teachers | DRPF Consults

The Disturbing Trend of Cyber Bullying Teachers | DRPF Consults | Legal Issues of Slander and Libel that affect students and teachers | Scoop.it
What many people don’t realize is that cyber bullying teachers is another disturbing trend that has been on the rise.
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Taylor Brewington's comment, February 12, 2012 8:41 PM
Most often, people think of bullying as an act between two students. However, with social networking, bullying teachers is becoming more common. Even if the bullying/ libel is posted on a personal page such as myspace.com, the information can be publicly viewed by a third party. By posting false information on these social networks, students are guilty of libel, and can be tried in court. Even though posting derogatory information about teachers on the internet does not give the rite to sue, posting false claims about a teacher does. This was exactly the outcome in the case of Wagner v. Miskin, when a student falsely claimed that she had exchanged a number of sexually explicit e-mail messages (Wagner v. Miskin, 2003). This rises an issue of "how do teacher deal with bullying from students on internet blogs, forums, and social networks?"
Vikki Howard's comment, February 18, 2012 3:44 PM
This is a very important issue and I am glad you found this article and its connection to defamation--your interpretation regarding limited liability for libel/slander is appropriate--but important for society to get a handle on this deleterious behavior
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Educators suit against students for cyberspace defamation fails | Draker v. Schreiber (Tex.App.- San Antonio, 2008)

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Taylor Brewington's comment, February 13, 2012 12:27 PM
Teachers deal with the stresses of student behavior everyday. Yet, when it comes to defamation of character on the internet, the stress is different. The internet is such a huge source of information, it is nearly impossible to know everything everybody is saying. When a teacher finds out he/she is being targeted on the internet, the stress is immense. How many people have read the information? Who is posting this information? How many people have read these posts? More importantly, how do you stop this libel? The emotional distress is a horrible effect. Once these questions are addressed, the damages can be totaled. The First Amendment awards individuals for being victims of actual malice. However, is being awarded damages enough for being a victim of defamation of character?
Vikki Howard's comment, February 18, 2012 3:54 PM
I agree--a major part of the solution to cyberbullying may be in educating students--not just to put the fear in children, but to teach students alternatives to verbal violence and social cohesiveness
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Libel and Defamation in Sports

Research Paper for Com-400 Communication Law and Ethics
 
Libel and Defamation in Sports
Coty Coons
University of No...

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Taylor Brewington's comment, February 13, 2012 1:58 PM
Sports is a topic that most are familiar with. How are teachers and sports related? In several rural schools teachers/ principals double as coaches. Just like in the professional world of sports, high school sports have politics. People do not always agree with coaches' decisions or techniques. Then there are rivals. The level of competition between teams is so immense that it opens a door to defamation, slander, or libel--not only towards coaches, but also the entire team as a group. The U.S. supreme court has extended the New York Times standard to public figures. In the Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc (1974), the court stated that public figures should have less protection than ordinary citizens. Does a high school sports team constitute as a public figure?
Vikki Howard's comment, February 18, 2012 3:55 PM
agreed--if anyone in our society (other than politicians) is considered "fair game" for public humiliation!
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Norfolk teacher, alleging libel, sues Virginian-Pilot | HamptonRoads.com | PilotOnline.com

NORFOLK A city teacher has filed a lawsuit against Virginian-Pilot Media Companies, LLC, the parent company of The Virginian-Pilot, and reporter Steven Vegh, alleging she was libeled in an April story that reported students were separated by race ...
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Taylor Brewington's comment, February 13, 2012 3:57 PM
News papers are a huge contribution to the way people get their information and form their opinions. The issue here, i feel, is that the punishment that news paper companies get for being guilty of libel, is just a "slap on the wrist." The papers are distributed to thousands everyday, bringing in tons of revenue for the company who publish them. The damages they have to pay do not add up to what their products bring in. Teachers must watch their actions and way of words that could get reported. If a story sounds like a "hit," then a paper will publish it anyway. This could essentially ruin a teacher's reputation. What types of precautions can a teacher take to make sure papers do not libel them? How can we ensure that publishers get harsher punishment for their wrong accusations.
Vikki Howard's comment, February 18, 2012 3:58 PM
Good question--the media--though purportedly the fourth estate and mechanism for protecting truth and human rights has become a vehicle for spreading misinformation if not a political arm of special interests
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Ben Arfa to be sued for defamation

Ben Arfa to be sued for defamation | Legal Issues of Slander and Libel that affect students and teachers | Scoop.it
Ben Arfa vows bad boy days are behind him...
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Vikki Howard's comment, February 18, 2012 3:58 PM
what are your thoughts here?
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Student sues academics for defamation

Student sues academics for defamation | Legal Issues of Slander and Libel that affect students and teachers | Scoop.it
A PhD student is suing two senior academics for defamation after they branded his TV comedy about people with disabilities as "amoral trash".
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Taylor Brewington's comment, February 13, 2012 2:19 PM
Yes, teachers can be sued for defamation against students. Now as in the case of Cabin v. Community Newspapers (1966), even if teachers are public officials their statements have to be private rather than official conduct to give them the rights that public officials have--or do not have. In this case, the teachers were acting in private matters. This gave the plaintiff the right to sue the teachers individually for the defamation his character. Teachers beware, your opinions, if stated in a factual manner, can be illegal.
Vikki Howard's comment, February 18, 2012 3:51 PM
exactly right--teachers are public figures and therefore cannot crawl in the gutter with the rest of society--
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Student Charged For Making Fun Of Teacher

Student Charged For Making Fun Of Teacher | Legal Issues of Slander and Libel that affect students and teachers | Scoop.it
A Henry County high school student is facing criminal charges after posting comments about his teacher on the Web site, MySpace.
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Taylor Brewington's comment, February 13, 2012 1:06 PM
Sticks and stones may break bones, but words can last a lifetime. What students consider pranks, can have serious repercussions. Yes, we have all had a teacher who we disliked and said mean things about. However, when the words being spoken are pushed to the limits of publicity, it is illegal. A teachers reputation is based upon performance, but also very much on recommendations and hear say. The risks of this reputation building is huge, because a teacher's career is on the line. Once the plaintiff in this case proved that the student was acting maliciously and was of a healthy state of mind, he had the case won. This was shown in the case of Jaworsky v. Padfield (1968), where the plaintiff had to show that the defendant did or did not meet the New York Times test. This is the requirement in every libel/ slander case. So, think twice before trying to get revenge on a teacher that you dislike.
Vikki Howard's comment, February 18, 2012 3:45 PM
Excellent analysis Taylor-references to reputation and maliciousness are key legal tenets in cases of defamation--also, relevent application of common case law
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Former Coach Suing For Slander

A former basketball coach and teacher at Booker T. Washington High School is suing his former athletic director and seven others.
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Taylor Brewington's comment, February 12, 2012 8:55 PM
Gossip is one thing, but when it involves slander one can take legal action. Teachers/ coaches are people, and just like everybody else they have a right to stop false information that is a defamation of their character. This article is an example of how talking falsely about a person, can get one in "hot water." However, proving that a defendant was making the claims, knowing that they were false or with reckless disregard, is difficult to prove. This is proven in the case of Reaves v. Foster(1967), where the courts dismissed the suit because the plaintiff couldn't prove that the defendant knew his statements were false or acted in actual malice.
Vikki Howard's comment, February 18, 2012 3:47 PM
You are right-proving defamation places the burden on the plaintiff to prove harm -- this high bar places a preference on first amendment rights
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Principal Sues Student for Cyber Defamation

Principal Sues Student for Cyber Defamation | Legal Issues of Slander and Libel that affect students and teachers | Scoop.it
Teen Posted MySpace Profile Stating Man's Affinity for Porn, Booze, Underage Students...
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Vikki Howard's comment, February 18, 2012 3:47 PM
What do you think about the posting Taylor?
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Suing for Slander » My blog about the latest programs available on the Internet

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Taylor Brewington's comment, February 12, 2012 9:12 PM
This blog explains exactly what slander and libel are. Many people, such as myself, are not aware of their legal rights concerning slander or libel. Suing for such crimes is a process, but if it is infringing upon one's rights the process is worth going through. Then there is the issue of how to stop slander once it starts. Yes, as stated above, one can sue but sometimes it does not stop the malicious acts. Where do teachers draw the line as to what should be "shrugged" at, and what needs legal action. As addressed in the case of Milkovich v. Lorain Journal Co. (1990), there is nothing wrong with expressing an opinion, as long as the fact that it was an opinion is stated. This means that teachers have to "shrug" off instances where they feel offended, when the statements are explained as mere opinions. Accepting opinions might be hard, but there is nothing legally one can do to stop them.
Vikki Howard's comment, February 18, 2012 3:50 PM
This is a good article to help interpret the difference between protected speech and defamation--we do have the right to speak about other badly--as long as those comments are couched in opinion...teachers -- and all public figures--if not all humans, are increasingly asked to grow "thick skins"