Can you sue a teacher on defamation or harassment?

Asked about 2 years ago - Newburyport, MA

I’m writing a theoretical story about a girl who tries to sue her teacher. She verbally insulted her and publicly humiliated her, and I know the law usually gives teachers a lot of leeway in the classroom but I was wondering if you can sue her for defamation or verbal harassment or verbal abuse or another lawsuit that I am currently not thinking about and could you prove it?

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Todd Allen Davidson

    Contributor Level 14

    Answered . You could have the teacher have a relationship outside of school with the girl and/or the girl's parents. Then you could have the parents side with the teacher for more drama. The more difficult task is to come up with a plot where there are damages. In many cases, there is a lie, publication (i.e. at least one third party heard the lie), but there is no case because the plaintiff cannot show any damages. One google search that may be worth pursuing is "first amendment and teacher rights." Best of luck!

    The content of this answer should not be relied upon or used as a subsitute for consultation with professional... more
  2. Christine C McCall


    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . As an author who is writing a story for paid publication, you will need to develop the skills to research your plots. Good luck.

    My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as legal advice.... more

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