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Can slander charges be filed against a College Instructor?

Indianapolis, IN |

There was a dispute about a answer to a test question so I went up to the desk to show the instructor the page in the book to why it was being disputed. When I walked away I said well that stupid in regards to the answer, the instructor got upset and left the classroom, she reported that I called her a dumb ass. I got suspended from class for the day. There were several class students to verify the instructor told a lie. I am 51 yrs. old and attending college to be a RN, this lie was humiliating & distressing. What should I do to gain back my self respect?

Sincerely, A. Buchanan

Attorney Answers 6


  1. Check the school handbook to see whether there is an administrative procedure that you must follow.

    Mr. Padove is licensed to practice law in Illinois and Indiana. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Padove strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received. If this information has been helpful, please indicate below. Burtonap@aol.com (219) 836 2200


  2. Speak with an administrator about your situation.

    Call for a free consultation at 727-937-1400 or visit us on the Web at www.serviceandjustice.com.


  3. If you want to get your self-respect back, you should strive to get good grades in your class. If you want to waste a lot of time and money in court, you should file a defamation suit. Unfortunately, I don't see damages sufficient to file suit here. Best of luck with your new career in nursing.


  4. Best bet is to put it behind you. A lawsuit would be fruitless.


  5. As an attorney who has handled dozens of cases about and for nurses, let me share this with you: an RN needs to be able to take a punch and choose not to notice. The situation you describe here is a meaningless and unworthy tempest. Do these things:
    1. Rise above it.
    2. Have a heart to heart with the instructor in which you take some responsibility and sincerely apologize for your part.
    3. Re-calibrate your humiliation/distress detector.

    Good golly but you are going to have a tough road ahead with the doctors if you can't handle this kind of stuff better than you have here.

    My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as legal advice. I give legal advice only in the course of an attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by individual consultation and execution of a written agreement for legal services.


  6. You essentially called her "stupid"; you object because she reported that you said "dumb-ass" - aren't you splitting hairs. Additionally, you weren't kicked out of the class, just "suspended for the day", so you really have no provable economic damages. You will gain back your "self-respect" by completing the course successfully.