Legal Issues of Slander and Libel when referring to teachers
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Bay City Central students teaching students, parents about cyber bullying

Bay City Central students teaching students, parents about cyber bullying | Legal Issues of Slander and Libel when referring to teachers |

Tweeters and Posters Need to watch thier words

Chrissy Marie's comment, February 15, 2012 8:58 PM
The internet is the new scary bully in the school yard. There are students who commit suicide every year because of cyber-bullying. I think that teachers need to do their best to permit anything like this to happen in classrooms. Do not allow media such as i-pods and cell phones and that may be able to get rid of a little bit of the libel and slander that goes on in schools today. Defamatory statements are said to each other online every day. People just need to be educated and understand that they need to take responsibility to what they are saying.
Vikki Howard's comment, February 22, 2012 1:16 AM
You are right when you say that teachers have only a "little bit" of control over this medium--and that the problem is HUGE! Again, courts are loath to take on children who engage in defamation--what makes this behavior defamation?
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Teacher awarded $234K in slander lawsuit - Montreal - CBC News

Teacher awarded $234K in slander lawsuit - Montreal - CBC News | Legal Issues of Slander and Libel when referring to teachers |
A Quebec Superior Court judge has ordered a couple to pay $234,011.87 to their son's former teacher for defaming her, on a finding that the parents intentionally destroyed the teacher's reputation.
Chrissy Marie's comment, February 15, 2012 8:37 PM
This article was very surprising to me on how ignorant people can act. Teachers need to realize that, just as the judge says, it can take years and years building a reputation and it only takes a few minutes to destroy it. There was an accusation of bullying made by the parents about the teacher, in which they decided to settle and it was resolved. The parents went against the judge’s orders and slandered the teachers name to all of the reporters, which instantly defamed her name. This goes along also with the Pitka case because this ruined her reputation. The teacher is still not able to return to work because she is feeling affects by the whole ordeal. This just goes to prove that there are many people that are accused of acts that they may not have committed but even if they do side they are innocent, there life has been exposed to the public. Even though that teacher’s case ended on a better note, how is she supposed to go back to a school where the parents have judgments that she bullies kids?
Vikki Howard's comment, February 22, 2012 1:14 AM
this is an important finding--albeit in Canada--US courts have been reluctant to rule against slanderers--even when reputation is ruined, criminal claims made and behavior is clearly malicious. But in this case, the teacher won...woo-hoo, but as you say, the barn door was already open
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Teachers Unions Gone Wild - Volume I NJEA Union Teachers

-Very Very surprising Video about New Jersey Teachers (There is some swearing and innappropiate languge but its interesting)

Chrissy Marie's comment, February 15, 2012 7:59 PM
This video is something that I think every teacher should see or at least be aware of. How easy is it to take videos when people do not know they are being videoed and to make something like this tape. Teachers need to be careful of what they are saying and who they are saying this to. Now, if this tape is 100% factual, I am beside myself what to think about New Jersey’s Unions and school system. Now the question I have, is this slander and libel against the teachers, as in someone was twisting words around and making this situation seem as something it is not, or is this slander and libel against all of these teachers on what they are presenting. The comments about tenure was very upsetting, because you should get tenure because you are a great teacher who is helping students not because you have been there and deserve it. I feel like a lot of these teachers have committed slander in the school against students, and nothing is done about it, and they are admitting to it on this video. In the text, it says if faculty spreads false rumors they can be considered as slandering the student. There was just so many issues with this video, that I did not know where to start. I want to know if this is real libel and slander, or if this was a set up? Is this also slander agaisnt the union itself?
Vikki Howard's comment, February 22, 2012 1:18 AM
teachers who commit slanderous statements have regularly been severely punished--there is a high bar for teachers (as there should be), but a very low bar for non-public citizens
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NEA - Rights Watch: Cyber Speak No Evil

NEA - Rights Watch: Cyber Speak No Evil | Legal Issues of Slander and Libel when referring to teachers |
In a flood of lawsuits, students are challenging punishment for ridiculing teachers and principals in cyberspace.
Chrissy Marie's comment, February 15, 2012 7:27 PM
The courts are now having troubles deciding whether or not students still have their First Amendment right when they use social media to vilify, parody, or defame school employees. There are so many different court cases out there that deal with this issue. This is so important for teachers to understand, especially because in a lot of the court cases, the outcomes differ. Two of the three courts cases in this article ruled that the school was in the right by doing something about the posts as where in the third case, the panel sided with the student. In the Latshock v. Hermitage School District, they said the student would not be punished for his actions of making a fake Myspace page about his principle saying that he was a drunk, drug user, and a whore. This falls under the defamatory statements because that has potential to ruin that principles career and or call him out to the public. Even when there are direct law out there to try and deal with this libel, it is scary for teachers, or anyone because it changes so often and varies so much from state to state.
Vikki Howard's comment, February 22, 2012 1:22 AM
exactly right--so glad you addressed this issue; teachers/administrators are at the fulcrum of student abuse in cyberspace--the courts have offered no safe harbor--one student found an article describing behavioral "groups" that target students by deliberately provoking teachers to overreact, videotaping the incident and posting the video in public places--it is warfare!
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Protections for Teachers from False Accusations

Protections for Teachers from False Accusations...
Chrissy Marie's comment, February 15, 2012 8:47 PM
This article is important for teachers to read because it is very much so true in today’s society. We talk a lot about slander and libel and what defines them, but what about protection for teachers when false accusations are made. According to this article there is none, and what there is there is very little of it. I think that there should be laws that protect teachers from having their name thrown into the media with an accusation. Once the name is thrown out there, the reputation is destroyed. Whether it is true or false, your name and what you are being accused of is going to stay lingering above your head forever. There needs to be some affirmative action taken to help protect these teachers and future teachers in having their reputation ruined and exploited to the public. It makes no sense that you can get in trouble for false statements (Slander and Libel) and get sued but if the person pressing charges is in the wrong, that teacher who has done nothing wrong is now all over the news and there is nothing they can do. I just think something should be done.
Vikki Howard's comment, February 22, 2012 1:26 AM
there is the possibility of suing those who engage in defamation--but the ability to do so if one is a public figure (i.e., teacher) is very difficult as you say--the burden of proof is on the plaintiff--and must prove malicious intent which has been interpreted very conservatively--the courts really don't know to go with this--and is, as you say an epidemic--it requires a balance between civility and first amendment rights--currently, the courts tend to rule in favor first amendment rights over individual rights
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Tort Law project: Slander vs Libel

Breaking Down Slander and Libel

Chrissy Marie's comment, February 15, 2012 8:20 PM
This is a video that teachers should watch to make sure that they know the difference between slander and libel and to understand how the court process works. Not every statement or something that someone writes is considered slander or libel, especially in certain cases. In the Pitka case, there was a libelous on its face. When people publish something that is not accurate and starts to hurt your reputation, it is okay to contact a lawyer and begin to discuss the legal issues. The first step is to really understand what is going on in the situation first. Teachers need to be careful in classrooms because anything that you may say or write could be taken out of context at any point. This video is a good way to update everyone, not only teachers, on the different rules and regulations that you go through.
Vikki Howard's comment, February 22, 2012 1:27 AM
good find Chrissy for this resource for teachers
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Slander And Libel -

Slander And Libel - | Legal Issues of Slander and Libel when referring to teachers |
Is someone spreading lies about you? Learn about lawsuits for defamation, libel and slander to stop the lies and restore your reputation.
Chrissy Marie's comment, February 15, 2012 7:42 PM
Being a teacher, it is so important that you understand the legal issues and rights that teachers are given. Slander and Libel, especially in the 21st century, is going to be a big part of what teachers are going to have to deal with. I will even say that it is going to be more libel than slander, because now a days everyone has a blog to post it to, rather than to outwardly express it. In this article it breaks down the difference pretty well. To recover against someone that has libeled you, you must prove defamatory, published to at least one other person, about you specifically, and made with some degree of fault. Some things that are offensive to some people, may not constitute under libel so you have to do the research. Slander, you don’t have to prove actual harm to your reputation to collect damages that someone says something untrue about you that affects your business, trade, or profession, implies you committed a crime, leads to the conclusion that you have a loathsome disease and suggests that you are somehow sexually impure. Slander cases or often harder to prove because it is said, not written. You need to keep a log of when this happens. Make sure that when you think you have been slandered or libeled, you document and contact a lawyer.
Vikki Howard's comment, February 22, 2012 1:31 AM
I agree--this is a brave new world--I am so glad you are going in --eyes wide open! The ubiquitous use of an impersonal medium has led to pervasive unfettered verbal violence-the likes of which we do not typically see in the real world--but which is increasingly spilling over to our daily interactions
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Technology & Marketing Law Blog: Facebook Sued Over Private Facebook Group--Finkel v. Facebook

Technology & Marketing Law Blog: Facebook Sued Over Private Facebook Group--Finkel v. Facebook | Legal Issues of Slander and Libel when referring to teachers |
Chrissy Marie's comment, February 14, 2012 9:15 PM
This topic is important to teachers because it is so relevant
in today’s society. Cyber bullying is a new epidemic in today’s society, so it is
important that teacher’s acknowledge that bullying is not just in the
classrooms anymore. There are far more issues going on online that teachers
need to realize that may appear in the classroom, and sometimes may need to get
involved. In this case, a girl pressed charges against a group of girls and Facebook
for the girls posting not true statements on a made up Facebook page. Under
what kinds of statements are defamatory, if someone posts that you impute a
loathsome disease, that it is libel. This girl was graduating high school, so
what if a college or an employer was doing research and all of this popped up
about her having diseases and performing bestiality? This could definitely harm
her reputation. Facebook is not liable for what others post online, only the
one who posts these things should be held liable, but just as in this case,
with the internet these days, all of the blogs and social networks, can anyone
really be held liable for their actions online?
Vikki Howard's comment, February 22, 2012 1:33 AM
Good question, you have identified perhaps the most important social issue of our age--we must address this epidemic directly --I don't think the courts are the solution, but maybe--teachers can be an important part of the solution--but we must develop a plan!