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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69371
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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A parent of my 8 year old granddaughters school friend has

Customer Question

A parent of my 8 year old granddaughter's school 'friend' has reported to their school that my granddaughter has been going in the bushes with boys, both on school premises and after school, and letting them insert things into her private parts. The parent of the other girl also told her daughter that she wasn't allowed to go near my granddaughter as she is a 'dirty girl' so this girl has got together with some other children in the class and has been telling other children what Chloe, my granddaughter, has supposedly been doing, which, obviously, has also caused Chloe some distress. The school contacted my daughter and told her of this accusation and informed her that they would have to report the incident to children's services. My daughter rang me to inform of all this and I immediately went to school to speak to the head teacher, I asked where the information had come from and what evidence they had and was told that it was hearsay from a teenage relative of the other girl who had apparently overheard a conversation between the two 8 year olds; after both a teacher and myself and my daughter had spoken to Chloe about these allegations the school are satisfied that nothing of a sexual nature has happened and that it was perhaps young girls having an inappropriate discussion so no further action is to be taken. Although I understand that the school had to inform my daughter about this allegation I do not feel that it was handled professionally as they hadn't even bothered to ask the other children involved about it I have made it very clear to the school that I am far from happy about the fact that someone can just go into school and make such a derogatory statement about an 8 year old little girl and potentially subject her to a distressing ordeal with social services and there be no repercussions. Is there any legal recourse that we can take?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
HI.

Thank you for your question . My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

Can I just be clear about this? She reported to the school what somebody had said to her? In what way is that not professional? Sorry if I'm missing the point.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Sorry, I meant the school hadn't been professional as they hadn't bothered to speak to the girl called Courtney and ask her not to shout about this in the classroom; the school was also ready to involve social services without establishing the facts.


 


It was Courtney's mother who reported this to the school as she said that Courtney's teenage cousin had overheard Chloe, my granddaughter, saying this, when I pressed for further information the cousin said that it was both Chloe and Courtney talking about this inappropriate behaviour but Courtney's mother said that it wasn't her daughter and Chloe is a 'dirty girl'. Surely this person can't just make these disgusting allegations and continue with her nasty remarks just because Chloe is a child?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.

I'm afraid they were under a positive duty to disclose to social services. The law places obligations upon them to do so.

In relation to the other child, I'm afraid it would really have been rather difficult to try to silence the other child in this way. It may well have failed anyway as children are generally keen to talk.

You could always make a complaint to the local council but I'm afraid the answer that you would get is that its for social services to investigate this not the school.

I am sorry and I can see why you are aggrieved over this but thats the position.

Can I help further?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


So is there nothing I can do about the parent who started this lie/ rumour, call it what you will? This was a very serious allegation. Am I to believe that we live in a society that allows anyone to go into school with an unfounded malicious allegation causing unnecessary distress to parents and grandparents, not to mention how a now very confused Chloe must be feeling?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
No.

She made a report of what was said to her as she is entitled to do

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

So she is entitled to brand my granddaughter as a 'dirty girl' and other obscene names and encourage her to child to repeat this to anyone who will listen and therefore ruining my granddaughter's reputation before she has even reached puberty?


 


Does the law then also allow me to 'return the favour' and report what I like to whom I like about her child?


 


I apologise if I seem abrupt but I am angry that this can be allowed to happen and there is nothing that can be done.


 

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Yes, of course you are angry. Its one of these allegations easily made and difficult to defend.

Ultimately though, to sue her you would have to prove she knew that it was false and there's no evidence of that.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I have now lost all faith in the law!


There are some very nasty people in this world and it appears that the law is on their side.


 


I have no wish to sue anyone, this is not about seeking compensation; I just wanted to know if there was a legal way of making this person stop her filthy allegations and continued verbal persecution of a little girl.


 


Is there absolutely nothing that we can do? Do we seriously just have to put up with this?


 

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
There is always defamation but then you have to prove that she knew she was lying.

The problem here is that she hasn't made an allegation against her. She has just reported what was said to her.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

As I have already said, she didn't just report it; she has also called Chloe a dirty girl and has stated that Chloe has actually done the things that she has reported.


 


Are we in a position to send some sort of legal correspondence telling her to stop?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
The point is though that she is only reporting what has been said to her.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


I am sorry but I think you are missing the point; yes she has reported to the school what was apparently said to her but the name calling and 'labelling' is entirely her doing.


 


I think we are going around in circles.


 


In lay mans terms - are you saying that we have no legal rights and we have to stand by and let this person say what she wants about Chloe?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
I understand the point and I'm afraid I've given you your options above.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I have obviously not understood - please clarify, is there, or is there not, some form of legal correspondence that we can send to this person telling her to stop the slanderous remarks that she is continuing to make?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
There is always defamation but then you have to prove that she knew she was lying.

The problem here is that she hasn't made an allegation against her. She has just reported what was said to her.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

That is the same reply as you gave before and you still haven't answered my question.


The report has been made and that should be the end of it but she is continuing to make nasty remarks and call an 8 year old child unrepeatable names.


 


Do we have any rights at all and is there a legal letter that we could send telling her to stop?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Sorry but I have answered your original question which was about the conduct of the school

I can see that you are displeased with my answer so I will be opting out.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


We were obviously misunderstanding each other from the beginning; I was not asking about the misconduct of the school - I was trying to provide the full story and inform you that I had told the head teacher of the school that I was not happy about all of this and where it could have possibly led.


All I want to know is if there is anything we can legally do to stop the person who made the report from continuing to make nasty remarks about my 8 year old granddaughter?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.


We have obviously misunderstood each other from the beginning. I told you of my disappointment with how the school handled things to give you a full picture of events.


 


The person who made the initial report is continuing to make nasty remarks and calling a little girl unsuitable, unrepeatable names; I just want to know if there is a legal type letter that could be sent to this person telling them to stop.

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