Libel and Slander In The Classroom.
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Rescooped by Ashli Watts from Slander and Libel for School Law
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Choir teacher files libel suit against school, newspaper « Student Press Law Center

A teacher at Churchill County High School in Nevada filed a lawsuit against the Churchill County High School district, among others, claiming an article in the student newspaper, The Flash, has damaged her reputation.


Via Sarah Baumberger
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Vikki Howard's comment, September 1, 2012 3:17 PM
yes, truth is considered sufficient to counter libel suits. But truth exists in degrees and in the nooks and crannies of hyperbole, lie the seeds of litigation. Citation of the Pika case is appropriate here--in what way does the Pika case illuminate our understanding of publicized defamation? If the claims in the article are not true, how does the content constitute defamation?
Ashli Watts's comment, September 1, 2012 4:29 PM
In this article a teacher files a lawsuit against the school newspaper's article claiming that it hurt her reputation. The article discussed a parents claim against the teacher saying that she didn't submit all of the audition tapes for the all star choir but instead just a select few from the students.
This is similar to the Pitka case in the only fact that these statements could be taken on their face. After a New York case courts have found this to be applied to written or recorded statements because they are considered permanent and cause more damage. This, however only applies to certain states. Some say that anything that fall under the 4 categories of libel can be considered defamatory.
Vikki Howard's comment, September 2, 2012 1:33 PM
Ashli--I can tell you considered this case against the principles of libel to determine the legitimacy of the choir teacher's claim. I could not tell what your conclusion was, would she likely prevail and why. You could be more explicit in your explanation--for example, to what "4 categories" do you refer? and how do these principles of defamation apply?
Rescooped by Ashli Watts from Legal Issues of Libel and Slander in Education
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Time To Shut Down Teacher Bullying Websites

Time To Shut Down Teacher Bullying Websites | Libel and Slander In The Classroom. | Scoop.it
I commend head teacher Andre Sohatski for not only standing up for himself and his reputation, but also for representing the downtrodden teachers and students victimised by scandalous bullying webs...

Via Rachel Christiaens
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Vikki Howard's comment, February 18, 2012 1:58 PM
Love it...I agree--I had a conversation with an administrator the other day who said social media have become the scourge of childhood--how to get a handle on this...you may be right--courage
Ashli Watts's comment, September 1, 2012 2:23 PM
This teacher is an example of how all of us, as educators should be. This teacher was attempting to shut down a website that was posting crude comments towards his students. We need to be well educated on our rights and the students rights when it comes to slander. Cyber-bullying is a new epidemic and it needs to be addressed. This teacher did his part, he stood up and was the students' voices when they needed it the most. More teachers should follow in his footsteps. Students and teachers need to be held accountable for what they say even if it's online. For example a case involving a student at The University of North Dakota who was sued for posting a claim to an online site saying she exchanged several sexual e-mails with a physics professor. The professor won because the statement she made was especially 'damning' toward him.
Vikki Howard's comment, September 2, 2012 1:38 PM
I really appreciate your understanding of social media violence as an epidemic that threatens the civil fabric of our institutions. The courts (the ND case notwithstanding) have been reluctant to punish libel, even when teachers and students have been harmed professionally, emotionally, even mortally. Perhaps the courage of educators like this teacher will wake us up to our culpability and responsibility.
Rescooped by Ashli Watts from Legal Issues of Libel and Slander in Education
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Bullying Law Summary Fact Sheet Updated

Bullying Law Summary Fact Sheet Updated | Libel and Slander In The Classroom. | Scoop.it
We have just updated one of our most popular resources. You can find our latest bullying law fact sheet here. As you can see, all but 2 states now have bullying laws in place or scheduled to take effect in 2012.

Via Rachel Christiaens
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Vikki Howard's comment, February 18, 2012 2:04 PM
Bullying is a priority for schools--and for good reason. The lack of civility in our society--perpetuated by the partial or full anonymity of social networks has bred a culture where there is little accountability for mean spirited communication--and there is little doubt this has spilled over to real life
Ashli Watts's comment, September 1, 2012 3:28 PM
This article talks about how several states are taking the time to update their laws based around bullying and incorporating cyberbulling into them. These new policies make it so cyberbullying that happens off of campus has to answer to the consequences. IT has become statutory law that any bullying that is having an impact on the schools learning environment gives the school the right to punish the students involved. This is important for teachers to stay up to date on the new policies of their states so that they maybe the prevention of bullying of any kind instead of learning from experience. This article also make a great point in that everyone needs to do their part in preventing and stopping bullying of any kind.
A case involving a middle school student (Alex Boston) in Alanta, Georgia reported to police and school administration that fellow classmates made a phony Facebook page representing her making it look as if she posted raciest and sexual comments as well as claiming to smoke pot. After the school said that there was nothing that says the school could do anything since it was an off of campus event, the school began to look at their bullying policies and make changes that covered bullying and cyberbullying that happens off of campus have consequences given from the school.
Vikki Howard's comment, September 2, 2012 1:45 PM
Glad you scooped this page Ashli--these statutory responses to the epidemic mentioned in previous scoop, are going to sweep the nation--the unintended consequences (schools surveilling students digital communication) may cause additional problems--we shall see. I agree with your comment about the need for all of us to work at fostering a more tolerant and decent society--that is the only real action that is likely to change behavior without involving big brother. You provided a useful illustrative case as well (Boston).
Rescooped by Ashli Watts from Legal Issues of Libel and Slander in Education
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Former Teacher Charging Abuse Lost Libel Suit

Former Teacher Charging Abuse Lost Libel Suit | Libel and Slander In The Classroom. | Scoop.it
In a federal lawsuit filed early this month, former Henrico County special education teacher Kandise Lucas accuses school officials of targeting her for attempting to blow the whistle on alleged abuse of special-needs pupils.

Via Rachel Christiaens
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Vikki Howard's comment, February 18, 2012 1:58 PM
excellent, important story Rachel and application of Henrico case
Ashli Watts's comment, September 1, 2012 2:39 PM
This case involves a special education teacher at a middle school who was accused of abusing his students by another teacher. The accuser wrote an article to the local newspaper stating his abuse towards the students. When the article was published the accused teacher denied the claims made against him and sued for making defamatory statements. The former Special Education teacher won the trial. The teacher making the claim later sued because she felt that she was being punished for trying to report and stop the abuse toward the students. This case has some similarities to the case of Jackson v. Birminham Board of Education. Jackson reported that his girls basketball team was being discriminated against. Teachers need to be aware of the procedures one must take to report such things to protect themselves and in order to do the right things.
Vikki Howard's comment, September 2, 2012 1:49 PM
This is a very interesting case Ashli--brings up many legal principles we have been discussing. Why did the Sp Ed win the defamation case? Was there found to be a lack of evidence? Evidence that the claims were not true? And then, the person who reported was retaliated against--was that because she had defamed the teacher illegally? or because she was unable to substantiate the claims?