What legal action can I take to stop these harassing emails?

Asked over 4 years ago - Atlanta, GA

I am a teacher who receives emails almost weekly from a parent stating that I am not competant to teach their child. My school system will not do anything to stop these emails. I am highly qualified with excellent credentials. It is taking a toll on my emotions and it makes me want to quit, but I have to support my family. What are my options? I am receiving no support by my administration to stop these emails. This person has made comments about me to other people. I am a special education teacher and have also been a director of a special education department. I would not have let one of my teachers go through this. What legal options do I have if my school system refuses to take action to stop this harassment against my school, or against this parent?

Attorney answers (1)

  1. David J. Abeshouse

    Contributor Level 8

    Answered . First, as a practical matter, you may want to (a) block all e-mail from this sender, if that's permissible -- you didn't mention whether this is a private e-mail address over which you have complete control or whether it's a school e-mail address for which you may have to follow school rules; and (b) consult with your teachers union rep -- the union, more than the school system itself, may be able to start the ball rolling with practical assistance, getting the school to take some sort of ameliorative action.

    Legally, you may have the makings of a defamation action -- depending on the particulars (you understandably haven't provided much in the way of specifics here) you conceivably could have the basis for a claim against this parent for libel with respect to the written statements if the parent disseminated them to others beyond you, and/or for slander if the parent spoke the defamatory statements to others as well. For this, you'd obviously have to consult a lawyer in your area, preferably one who has experience both with school legal issues as well as the law of defamation (libel and slander).

    Please note that I am not licensed to practice law in your state, and I practice only in NY. This response is provided for general educational purposes only, and no attorney-client relationship has been formed. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. As they say, "Your Mileage May Vary." Best of luck.

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