Slander and Harassment
Posted 02 December 2012 - 01:32 PM
I don't want to switch schools, this is my last year and I don't want to ruin anything, but I don't want to be in an environment that I'm obviously not welcome. Is there anything legal I can do that will protect me from her and the other people without switching schools? This has cause my anxiety and depression to get worse, I don't know how much longer I can put up with this.
Please help me.
Posted 02 December 2012 - 05:00 PM
Threats are a different story. If anyone makes credible threats of physical harm to yourself or your property, you could have cause to seek a restraining order to keep them away from you. Of course, that will do nothing to stop the nasty talk, and could even make it worse.
It seems to me, going only by what's in yuour brief message, that you'll just have to tough it out until you graduate, and then you can leave and never look back. I know that's not what you want to hear. I'm sorry.
Posted 03 December 2012 - 01:45 PM
"Spreading lies about you is not against the law (freedom of speech and all that) ..."
This is flatly incorrect as a blanket assertion. The 1st Amendment, as folks need to understand, applies to what restrictions a *government* may impose on a person, and even then there are exceptions.
"This io you can't have this person arrested and charged with anything."
Depends on the lie, actually, and where it's taking place. There is still such a thing as criminal libel per se that is chargeable in, last count, 17 places in the U.S. and territories; unfortunately, Iowa isn't one of them (the basis for those laws is actually maligning a female's character/chastity, but it's applicable to any number of situations). Now whether someone would prosecute, who knows -- don't hold your breath (if you know someone who knows someone, perhaps, or "are" someone).
It may be that a nasty note from an attorney to certain folks demanding retractions might scare the little buggers into behaving in a civil way. Can't know from here.
There are also types of defamation/libel that a person needn't establish particular damages to successfully pursue.
There are also false light invasion of privacy claims that are viable (where even if it were true that you'd done X-Y-Z, that doesn't mean this person is entitled to broadcast it to a given audience with reckless disregard knowing it will cause you harm).
All that said, there are many resources available to read about how to handle high school jerks.
I'll echo PG's advisory "warning" with a twist: (Many) legal issues are complicated. Explanations and comments here might not fully identify or explain the ramifications of your particular problem. I do not give legal advice as such (and such is impermissible here at any rate). Comments are based on personal knowledge and experience and legal info gleaned over a quarter century, and every state has differing laws on and avenues to address most topics. If you need legal advice, you need to consult (and pay) a professional so that you may have someone to hold accountable. Acting on personal and informational advice from a stranger on the internet is a bad idea -- at least not without your own thorough due dilience/research and confirmation as it applies to your situation.
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