Name calling & Slander

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Name calling & Slander

My son’s teacher verbally abuses him every day. He constantly calls him a liar. Is this treading on slander?

Asked on May 12, 2009 under Personal Injury, Massachusetts

Answers:

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

It sounds to me like the most important thing, right now, is to get your son switched out of this teacher's class.  You should be able to talk to the school principal, or assistant principal, about this, to get the process started.

If the teacher calls your son a liar, and it isn't true, that would indeed be slander, if the teacher either knows it's not true or says it in reckless disregard of whether it's true or not.  Depending on the circumstances, it might also be considered child abuse.

Teachers in public schools are government employees, and in some states lawsuits against a school and a teacher are limited by special statutes;  in the federal system and some states, these are call tort claims acts.  I think it's more important to get your son out from under this teacher, but if you can't make that happen, or you want to pursue this further, you should see a qualified attorney in your area as soon as possible.  You can start your search for a lawyer at our website, http://attorneypages.com


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