Educators' Libel Suit Against Group Fails

Gehring, John
April 2004
Education Week;4/28/2004, Vol. 23 Issue 33, p3
A legal-advocacy group did not act with malice when it alleged in a press release that two North Carolina educators had violated a student's rights, even though the student had made up her story about being forced to remove a reference to Jesus from a class presentation, a federal appeals court has ruled. The 6th grade student at C.B. Eller Elementary School in Elkin identified in court papers as "HD," admitted she had also lied about a claim that her teacher had required her to read the word "damn" aloud in class from an assigned book. Principal Vickie C. Hugger and teacher Carolyn Settle of Eller Elementary sued the Rutherford Institute and two of its officials, president John W. Whitehead and chief litigation counsel Steven H. Aden, in a North Carolina trial court, alleging defamation and infliction of emotional distress.


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