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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71043
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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A female teacher has sent a text message outside of school

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A female teacher has sent a text message outside of school hours to a female parent. Neither of the parents children are in the teachers class but are in the school. The text was very intimidating. The parent has now approached the school claiming that she fears for the safety of her children based on the text message. Looking at the message there is nothing to suggest that this is the case as the context of the text is directed to the parent
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Can you tell me where this leaves the teachers position.....she feels that the parent has made an accusation which is has no foundation based on the text. The principal has argued that it is a child welfare issue because the parent has come to him with these concerns.



No, of course it has no basis. This is what is known at the Bar as 'hamming it up'. It has many other descriptions. Being a drama queen, making a mountain out of a molehill, making a fuss over nothing, being a vexatious accuser etc. There is lovely offence under the Armed Forces Act of malingering that unfortunately only applies to servicemen but I have often thought that it would be very useful in civil***** *****fe.
However, the difficulty is that she has received this text and the law does still protect even the unreasonable complainer.
Obviously I haven't seen the text. I suppose if it does make a really unpleasant threat of some form of serious violence then it might be argued there is a child protection issue generally rather than specificially to this child. A violent person or a person willing to threaten violence in earnest might be a danger to children.
If the text doesn't make any threats that give rise to a child protection concern then the complaint is baseless.
Of course, the complaint has been made to get revenge rather than out of concern for child welfare. That doesn't mean it can be ignored but that is the motivation. There are not many people who would make these complaints if they had to pay for them to be investigated. However, they do not.
Can I clarify anything for you?
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