Libel

Reasons for a Duty to Correct Libelous Materials You Posted

I'm continuing to serialize my forthcoming law review article on this subject.

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(For the full draft PDF, with footnotes, see here.)

Let's turn to a hypothetical: Say two reporters, Ophelia Often (who tends to checks her voice-mail often) and Randy Rarely (who tends to check his rarely), are writing stories about Starlight Rainbow, accusing her of mistreating a fifth-grade student. (For convenience, assume that Starlight is a principal and thus a public figure or public official under state law.) It turns out, though, that both reporters erred: The actual allegations of mistreatment were about a different teacher with the same last name, Cynthia Rainbow.

Starlight learns about the planned stories, and leaves voice-mails for both reporters with persuasive evidence that she's not actually the guilty party. (She actually works at a different school.) Ophelia listens to her voice-mail before her story is posted, but Randy listens to his only after. For whatever reason, Ophelia still posts her story, and Randy doesn't correct his story.

Starlight now sues Ophelia (and her employer) for posting her story and Randy (and his) for continuing to keep his story up. The statement in each story—that Starlight was accused of mistreating the student—is false and defamatory. Ophelia and Randy are both aware now that it's probably false. Both of their employers are keeping up the stories without correction, even though they are aware that the stories contain false and defamatory statements.

Starlight's claim against Ophelia's employer will thus likely prevail: Ophelia posted knowing that the statement was probably false (which likely counts as "reckless disregard" of the truth and therefore "actual malice"), and liability is imputed to Ophelia's employer under respondeat superior. Starlight can thus use the threat of liability to pressure Ophelia's employer to correct the story on its site. And it's hard to see why Starlight's claim against Randy should be treated any differently:

  1. The harm caused by the stories is identical: Starlight is being damaged equally by both.
  2. The value of the statements about Starlight is equally low in both stories: Both statements are false.
  3. The current mental state of the reporters and employers is equal: Randy and Randy's employer are as aware of the falsehood now as Ophelia and Ophelia's employer were when Ophelia's story went up.
  4. The current culpability of the reporters and employers is thus also equal: Randy and Ophelia are continuing to distribute material that they now know to be false, and that's culpable whether or not their initial posting was culpable at the outset (as Ophelia's was but Randy's wasn't).
  5. The chilling effect from the threat of liability is equally low: Such liability would apply only because both reporters have been notified of specific, credible evidence that the statement was false—they wouldn't be chilled from continuing to write and keep posted material that they believe is true.
  6. The practical cost of avoiding liability is basically equal: All the reporters would have to do would be to correct the story to name the right Rainbow.

Correcting a story once it's posted might call for a bit more work—the publication may feel obligated not just to make a silent change, but to add a correction notice (e.g., "Editor's Note: This story initially misidentified the teacher; the actual name, corrected above, is Cynthia Rainbow—we regret the error"). And if the request doesn't come in until several months after the publication (but before the statute of limitations runs), the reporter might need some time to get back up to speed on the story to confirm that a correction really is needed. But these don't strike me as sufficient bases to justify immunity for Randy.

This duty to make such corrections also mirrors similar duties in other areas of the law. When I disclose something in civil discovery, and I "learn[] that in some material respect the disclosure or response is incomplete or incorrect," I have to "supplement or correct [my] disclosure." Lawyers have similar duties to inform the tribunal if they had inadvertently offered evidence but later "come[] to know of its falsity." People who make a statement related to the offer for sale of securities, and then learn that it was mistaken, must correct it. More broadly, even if I have no affirmative duty to protect you from various kinds of harms, I may acquire such a duty if I created the peril to you in the first place (even if I wasn't at fault in so creating it).

And I think such a duty is also ethically sound. Damaging another's reputation through knowingly or recklessly false statements is wrong. It's wrong if the author posts the statements knowing that they are false. But it's also wrong if the author learns that the statements are false, but nonetheless continues to distribute them without correction.

To be sure, recognizing a duty to stop knowingly libeling (and thus to correct posts that continue to libel someone) will mean more requests for correction, which publishers will have to consider. But I doubt this marginal effect will be particularly great:

  1. Publishers already get requests for corrections and retractions, and generally take them seriously as a matter of journalistic ethics (and common decency), even when they have no legal obligation to correct.
  2. Publishers already get demands for corrections backed by a threat of litigation. The subjects of erroneous stories often assume that the authors were negligent (or even had actual malice) at the outset. And even if the publisher did have a categorical right to escape liability when such initial negligence or actual malice can't be shown, the publisher might not be sure that the jury will find that.

Publishers will thus have to deal with only a slightly larger volume of correction requests, and requests of a sort that they already have to consider. And while those requests will have some cost, they will also have a benefit: less enduring reputational damage to people who can show that the charges against them are indeed false and defamatory.

Publishing a correction, however, should not restart the statute of limitations (except as to claims that the correction itself is libelous). "Whether a modified article is a republication"—i.e., an event that restarts the statute of limitations—will largely turn "on whether the altered article contains defamatory statements not expressed in the original article." If the only material added softens the original charges, rather than adding new defamatory statements, the statute of limitations would thus not be restarted. And even if the new material is itself allegedly defamatory, adding such material should not restart the statute of limitations as to old material that remains unchanged.

(Starlight Rainbow, by the way, is the real name of the plaintiff in Rainbow v. WPIX, Inc., a 2020 New York case; the facts in the text are based on Rainbow, but modified for the sake of the hypothetical.)

NEXT: Today in Supreme Court History: March 16, 1925

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  1. Let's add a depressingly common detail: Both Often and Rarely claim to have based the libelous aspect of the story off an anonymous source they assert was in a position to know. Both Often and Rarely refuse to break the source's anonymity, and expose the original source of the libel.

    Does this change the analysis in any way, possibly add more liability?

    1. I think it doesn't matter (initially) what the source is.

      Once Rainbow makes the compelling argument that the story was false, then Often and Rarely have the duty to make the correction.

      However, if Often and Rarely stand-by their source, then Rainbow can take them to court (and hopefully Often and Rarely [and their employers], are taking due diligence to follow up with their source).

      1. My point is, they're shielding the actual libeler, assuming that the anonymous source is real.

        Of course, this is a reference to the WaPo finally admitting that their 'quotes' from that December call Trump made to Georgia were fabricated, and he never actually said the things he was quoted as saying. Reporting that served as a basis for impeaching Trump, even.

        However, after further investigation, I find that the WaPo actually DID burn their source for the fabricated quotes, (Jordan Fuchs, the Georgia deputy secretary of state.) a rare move on their part after four years of anonymously sourced stories falling apart without any such action taking place. Good for them, doing the right thing at least once.

        Seems like Trump would have a pretty solid libel case against Fuchs.

        1. If it were possible to libel Trump.

          1. James, the laws are supposed to protect everyone.

            One can rape a prostitute, and one can libel Trump -- there's a much larger principle that I don't think you see...

            1. That principle is, of course, only visible or relevant when there's someone of vast power and resources in question for folks like Ed. Authoritarians punch down and shield those above.

              1. So, apparently, raping prostitutes is OK because they are prostitutes?

                Do you REALLY believe that?!?

                1. You're the one who made the assertion, Ed. Hold your outrage a bit.

            2. Defamation-Proof is a thing that exists.

              1. I question whether you can properly declare somebody "defamation proof" merely on the basis of a political party rabidly hating them.

                1. Notwithstanding that, it still raises the issue of if a prostitute can legitimately file charges of rape -- and I argue that she can.

                  1. Who's arguing against you, Ed? The only person who said a prostitute can't be raped is... you, dr. ed.

                2. "I question whether you can properly declare somebody “defamation proof” merely on the basis of a political party rabidly hating them."

                  How about judging them defamation-proof if they is a fantastical liar who is known to complain about accurate depictions of things he has done and said, unmoored to reality, shown to be thoroughly corrupt, and yes, discarded by the electorate?

        2. If libel doesn't rise to actual libel until published (before that it is either slander of gossip; IANAL), then the anonymous source is not committing libel; the reporters or publisher are.

          1. The "publication" element of a defamation claim refers to communicating the statement to someone else (who is not the subject of the statement).

            1. Libel is libel and requires written communication of false information.

        3. So in Trumpfantasyland, the recordings of Trump saying things aren't recordings of Trump saying things?

          1. In Trumprealityland, the quotes of Trump saying things that recordings reveal he didn't say are libel.

            1. "is" not "are" -- while the "things he didn't say" are plural, the libel is singular. Unless, of course, there are multiple incidents of it.

              1. There were multiple media outlets with "independent corroboration", does that get it to "libels"?

                1. "Libels", not "libel." 🙂

                  1. Nice correction, there. You corrected him to what he already said.

            2. "In Trumprealityland"

              there's no such place.

          2. So this hottest of takes is based on a correction the Post had to make. They reported Trump called a GA election official who was leading an audit of election results. Now that is incredibly unprofessional to say the least and anti-democratic borderline criminal at worst. The POTUS personally calling an investigator on an investigation that involves him (remember when conservative lost it because Bill Clinton talked to Lynch) is pretty bad. So it turns out though that when reporting on this initially the Post citing a source said Trump said the phrases "find the fraud" and that the investigator would be "praised" if they did. Turns out he told her to look for "dishonesty" and stressed how "important" her role was. I mean, it's amazing that they would want to dredge up this unprofessional act on the President to score such a pedantic point.

            But it goes to my point I've made here before: I think a lot of Republicans aren't embarrassed by this kind of behavior by one of their own in power because they just don't get why things like professional standards, civil service rules, conflict of interest policies, etc., are important. Like a person who cannot hear the beat of music they have been told there is a beat but they just don't get it themselves, so it's not important to them when the beat is way, way off.

            1. "remember when conservative lost it because Bill Clinton talked to Lynch"

              Are you having trouble remembering that Bill was the husband of the person Lynch was supposedly investigating for possible criminal prosecution?

              While Trump was simply one of the candidates in a contested race, with a perfectly valid interest in the validity of the count. He wasn't personally implicated in anything.

              1. He was the guy lying about election fraud and claiming that he'd actually won putting pressure on an election official.

                  1. He lied. Massively. No correction so far.

              2. "Are you having trouble remembering that Bill was the husband of the person Lynch was supposedly investigating for possible criminal prosecution?"

                that was kind of the point that was being made, so no, probably not having trouble remembering that.
                Just guessing, but that attack smacks of desperation.

              3. "While Trump was simply one of the candidates in a contested race, with a perfectly valid interest in the validity of the count. He wasn’t personally implicated in anything."

                He was the one complaining about "election fraud" after being the only one of the candidates to actively solicit vote fraud. But that's OK if he was on your team, apparently.

        4. "Of course, this is a reference to the WaPo finally admitting that their ‘quotes’ from that December call Trump made to Georgia were fabricated"

          Yes, but of course your frame of reference for the abstract issue discussed here is a current partisan hobby horse. How could it be otherwise?

          I also continue to find it interesting how Republicans actually can think about people's rights being violated, it's just that those people have to be incredibly powerful people with tons of resources like a billionaire President of the United States. Won't someone think of those poor kinds of folk getting trampled out there?

          1. Once the truth gets out about how many billions of dollars Mr. Trump actually has (or more correctly, doesn't has), the Republican faithful will suddenly rediscover an interest in po folks.

        5. "My point is, they’re shielding the actual libeler, assuming that the anonymous source is real."

          In the hypothetical Often and Rarely are libelers, too. They aren't under any legal obligation (absent a court order) to disclose to Randy their source, so how are they "shielding the actual libeler"?

          1. Yes, they are libelers, too.

            My question basically boils down to, if you're transmitting somebody else's libel, and refuse to identify them after that it IS libel is confirmed, could that be sanctioned?

            Remember, there's no federally recognized journalistic privilege to keep sources confidential. And while 30 states have 'shield' laws, I doubt they'd extend to libelous sources.

            1. "My question basically boils down to, if you’re transmitting somebody else’s libel, and refuse to identify them after that it IS libel is confirmed, could that be sanctioned?"

              You have a right to remain silent. You have a right to have an attorney present during questioning.

              Can you be sanctioned for doing something you have a right to do?

        6. Of course, this is a reference to the WaPo finally admitting that their ‘quotes’ from that December call Trump made to Georgia were fabricated, and he never actually said the things he was quoted as saying. Reporting that served as a basis for impeaching Trump, even.

          Of course, none of that is true.

      2. "Once Rainbow makes the compelling argument that the story was false, then Often and Rarely have the duty to make the correction."

        How compelling does it have to be? Who judges if it's compelling enough? What if someone gives me a correction, but I don't believe it and think the original story is still accurate? When is it absolute enough to require the correction?

        1. Obviously some cases will present close questions. But under the current law you would still have to undertake this analysis with respect to a claim against Ophelia, so I'm not sure that's an argument against assigning a duty to correct to Randy.

        2. How compelling does it have to be? Who judges if it’s compelling enough? What if someone gives me a correction, but I don’t believe it and think the original story is still accurate? When is it absolute enough to require the correction?

          Who judges whether the evidence in any case is compelling enough?

          1. "Who judges whether the evidence in any case is compelling enough?"

            Usually, the jury does.

            1. But you knew that.

                1. Ok, so you knew that. Which is what I said.

            2. No, not really, because the jury is going to be instructed in how you're supposed to be considering it. How subjective or objective is the analysis? How strong does it have to be to be "compelling" -- it's probably libelous, it's 51% libelous, it's libelous BRD? "The jury will decide" is weak tea. There are always standards beyond that. That's why there's so much caselaw about jury instructions. "He presented compelling evidence" is a nonsense argument unless you go further.

              1. The fact that the jury is instructed in the law does not imply anything about the course of deliberation.

    2. "Let’s add a depressingly common detail: Both Often and Rarely claim to have based the libelous aspect of the story off an anonymous source they assert was in a position to know. Both Often and Rarely refuse to break the source’s anonymity"

      If the source is anonymous, then the source cannot be named. That's what "anonymous" means. I think you meant "undisclosed".

      1. OK, let's be clear: When a newspaper publishes a report based on an "anonymous source", they mean anonymous so far as the readers are concerned. Not anonymous to the newspaper.

        They might use tipsters whose names THEY don't know, to tell them where to dig, but they don't stake the reputation of the paper on somebody they don't know for actual content of any significance.

        You really think you could have called in from a burner phone, and told the WaPo that Trump had said something on that call, and they'd have run with it? Even I don't think they're THAT irresponsible, and I think their journalistic ethics are in the basement.

        1. I'm sure they're broken-hearted over losing you as a loyal reader.

          All you had to say was "yeah, you're right. I meant 'undisclosed', not 'anonymous'".

    3. And in this particular hypothetical, the state child protective folk, reading about this in the newspaper (which they *do* read) would almost inevitably be investigating Starlight. This could cost her the custody of her own children -- and even in a civil court proceeding where the state is taking her children away from her, in states with a reporter shield law, the reporter can not be forced to reveal the witness against her.

      We're not just talking libel here -- we're talking loss of her own children...

      1. "And in this particular hypothetical, the state child protective folk, reading about this in the newspaper (which they *do* read) would almost inevitably be investigating Starlight. This could cost her the custody of her own children"

        In this hypothetical, are the investigators incompetent or just Starlight's lawyer(s)?

        1. Just wondering, have you ever had to deal -- in any capacity -- with a case of suspected child abuse or neglect?

          1. Can't tell you; it would violate HIPPA.

          2. "Just wondering, have you ever had to deal — in any capacity — with a case of suspected child abuse or neglect?"

            Yes, dipshit, I have. Add to the long list of things you thought you knew more about than you actually do.

  2. Liability should accrue to anyone relying on information from the internet, to make an adverse decision about the plaintiff. It is an established fact, the internet is mostly fake. That includes all unethical media products. All media products violate the journalism Code of Ethics today, except for C-SPAN. There is a duty to independently verify all facts being used in a decision.

    1. Why should anyone be interested in your crackpot opinion?

      1. Or your opinion on who's a crackpot?

        1. There's smart people from lots of different ideologies but there are also plain crackpots. If you can't call the crackiest of the pottiest of crack pots what they are you're sticking your head into a black hole of post-modernism.

          1. Hi, Queenie. What was the gender on your birth certificate?

            1. Probably not "crackpot".

              Just a guess.

        2. Conservatives are known for not caring about facts...

          1. You've asked me about a half-dozen times.

            1. ...but don't seem to like the answer.

  3. Here's a hypothetical: suppose that one of the two reporters has moved on to another employer, and thus 'can't' make the correction. Is that reporter somehow shielded as they shouldn't be held responsible for the failure to do something they can't do?

    1. The smart plaintiff didn't sue the reporters, they don't have any money. The lawsuit is against the employer(s) in the first place, which resolves the problem of authority to make corrections.

      1. That’s true. But I think the point is still legitimate. Professor Volokh has argued that the duty to correct should work the same way as the original duty not to libel. And here we have a case where it appears that can’t be so, the duties have to be distinguished. Are there others?

        I’d say the objection is probably more far-reaching than just theis case. In general, one of the features of the Internet is that the original publisher of something often loses control over it and lacks the ability to take it back. Even if the original publisher posted a correction, circulation of and attention to the original libel might well continue to outweigh any attention to the correction. What then? What actually is the duty here?

        Professor Volokh may need to take these considerations into account.

        1. Being the author of a libel creates liability, and so does being the publisher of a libel. Both have a duty to do source-checking before repeating the libel.

    2. Steve
      Interesting hypo. I would assume that the reporters have a duty to tell their former employers (ie, the publishers) that their original story was incorrect and that a retraction/correction needs to be published. If they do not do this, then their liability seems obvious.

      But what if they tell the old employers and those publications refuse to do anything? Interesting. One possibility: This deliberate non-act by the publishers extinguishes the reporters' liability. No idea if this is actually the law. Second possibility: The reporters remain liable. But, if sued, they can sue their old employers. If so, then the victim would sue the publications and the reporters, and the reporters would sue the publications. (All we need is the publications to counter-sue the reporters and we'd have a law school final exam question!) 🙂

      1. "Interesting hypo. I would assume that the reporters have a duty to tell their former employers (ie, the publishers) that their original story was incorrect and that a retraction/correction needs to be published. If they do not do this, then their liability seems obvious."

        The publishers have a duty to confirm what they print before they print it. If they haven't done this, perhaps because they've delegated this responsibility to the author, then the liability for failing to do this falls on them.

  4. This section is a bit unclear:

    For whatever reason, Ophelia still posts her story, and Randy doesn't correct his story.

    Starlight now sues Ophelia (and her employer) for posting her story and Randy (and his) for continuing to keep his story up. The statement in each story—that Starlight was accused of mistreating the student—is false and defamatory. Ophelia and Randy are both aware now that it's probably false. Both of their employers are keeping up the stories without correction

    No mention that Randy did post his story, although he must have; but when? It seems odd to first mention that Randy's story is still up, and later mention that both are still up.

    And perhaps make it clear in the beginning that Ophelia and Randy are working independently on their own stories, not collaborating on one story; you do say "are writing stories", but adding "independent" would be more explicit.

    1. You're missing the sentence before the excerpt you quoted. "Ophelia listens to her voice-mail before her story is posted, but Randy listens to his only after. For whatever reason, Ophelia still posts her story, and Randy doesn't correct his story." Randy only listens to his voice mail after his story is posted, therefore his story was posted.

      1. I did not miss that. I said it isn't clear.

        1. No, it's pretty clear: Ophielia posts after knowing the story is libelous, Randy before knowing it's libelous. So Ophielia has committed libel under any normal standard, whether she takes the story down or not, but is Randy did not originally commit libel. Does failing to take the story down after he knows that it's libelous make him a libeler? Does he have an affirmative duty to take it down to avoid that?

          1. Randy's publisher has such a duty, whether Randy participates or not.

  5. I think the duty to keep a career's worth of writing up to date could be a burden even if retractions considered one at a time are not. Although the hypothetical has a short time frame, that isn't essential to the analysis. Perhaps damages will be low if liability is only imposed from the date the duty to correct arose.

    I assume if the writer is an employee of a news site knowledge of falsity can be attributed to the employer. What if the writer is a contractor, or the story was picked up off the wire? Should there be a duty to run corrections to old AP stories?

    In criminal law, witnesses will recant testimony after it was used to convict somebody. That does not automatically lead to a new trial. Some of them are lying now about lying before. Some of them lied on the witness stand, but the other evidence of guilt was strong. What should the standard be to impose liability when an old story becomes doubtful but not as obviously wrong as in the Rainbow case? Just "negligence", whatever that means? "Malice"?

    (Counterpoint: The Boston Globe has a new policy offering to erase embarrassing old stories about people who seem decent now. That is evidence that they think old stories aren't much of a burden to update. Also likely, they think they can score points with their very liberal readers by erasing certain kinds of stories.)

  6. Professor Volokh --

    Your hypothetical raises a very different issue, and it is somewhat similar to an allegation that an attorney was commingling personal and client funds.

    I cite Massachusetts Chapter 51A although every state has a "mandated reporter" law at this point, and no two state's laws are the same. In Massachusetts, any certified teacher reading that article would be legally obligated to report it to the Mass Dept of Children & Familes (DCF) -- in some states the penalty for not doing so is loss of teaching certificate (similar to loss of bar card).

    And the first thing that a competent DCF investigator is going to do is call the reporter and ask about the story. So you aren't just talking about a duty to retract anymore but whatever duties the reporter may have to (a) talk to the DCF investigator -- and then (b) share with DCF that the reporter named the wrong person. (Remember that it will be a *different* DCF investigator investigating Cynthia Rainbow, so the possibility that it is instead her won't occur to the investigator.)

    And refusing to talk to DCF is not a hypothetical -- DCF is sending parents to (state-funded) anger management courses except the people running them are refusing to confirm that the people actually attended them -- to the point where DCF is proposing legislation requiring them to do so.

    Hence a reporter ignoring phone calls from an DCF investigator is a realistic possibility, even without the logistical hassle of getting back to the investigator.

    We're not just talking libel here -- we're talking the possibility of a woman losing custody of her own children, and the possibility of her losing her principal's certificate (similar to disbarment).

    Above and beyond libel, what right (ability) does she have to force the reporter to tell the designated state officials that what they wrote wasn't true?

    1. MA law only requires the report if " in his professional capacity, has reasonable cause to believe that a child is suffering" from abuse. I don't believe that reading a random newspaper article is going to meet that threshold.

      1. If memory serves, there was a case in Massachusetts where a cop was abusing a kid while off duty and escaped the enhanced penalties for abuse by a mandatory reporter because in that context he wasn't a mandatory reporter.

        1. I'd love the cite for that....

          I'm not a fan of Chapter 51A -- I actually consider it a violation of the 13th Amendment -- but this is a decision that I'd love to read...

          1. Commonwealth v. Jean Gomes, 483 Mass. 123 (2019)

            "In this case, we must determine whether the defendant's conviction of indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of fourteen, G. L. c. 265, § 13B, was aggravated by his status as an alleged mandated reporter at the time of the offense. See G. L. c. 265, § 13B 1/2 (b). Because there was no evidence that the defendant was acting in his professional capacity when he committed the offense, we must conclude that the judge erred in denying the defendant's motion for a required finding of not guilty as to G. L. c. 265, § 13B 1/2 (b)."

            1. Thanks! -- although that appears to be a little bit different -- that appears to be a sentence enhancement taking the shortcut of using mandated reporter status instead of enumerating the types of relationships with the victim.

              All I know is that DCF states that a mandated reporter must report *any* observed abuse, not just in the course of one's professional employment. It wouldn't be the first time that the Commonwealth went too far -- NH is suing MA over the income tax thing...

              But look at this realistically -- I *have* acted on newspaper articles before. Sometimes contacting a friend at the respective paper to confirm the facts first, but yes -- it's in print and you can pursue it. You kinda have to because otherwise there is the question of why you didn't...

              1. "But look at this realistically — I *have* acted on newspaper articles before."

                And on your own wild imagination, too, I would bet.

              2. "Although mandated reporters may report suspected abuse or neglect of which they become aware at any time, the duty to report applies only to information learned in one's professional capacity, in this case while Garney was fulfilling his teaching and coaching responsibilities." _Garney v. Mass. Teachers' Retirement System_, 469 Mass. 384. (Teacher's conviction for off-the-job child porn possession did not mandate loss of pension.) If DCF requires more, it would not be the first time an agency exceeded its statutory authority.

        2. There's a mandatory reporter story from Oregon.

          It involves a young girl attending a religiously-affiliated school rather than a public one. She disclosed to a teacher there that she was being sexually-abused by her father. Her stepfather was a prominent figure in the church affiliated with the school, so the faculty of the school decided that they didn't believe the student, and did nothing. Later on, when it turned out that the kid's father and stepfather are different people, a bunch of mandatory-reporters had to explain why they didn't pass on the information about the accusation to the state authority.

          1. Again, citation please.

            If what you say is true, this case is one that I *will* include in my curriculum because while I know of such things happening, if this actually is in published sources, then I can talk about it.

            1. There should be coverage in Willamette Week, as well, but I don't have time to do free curriculum research for you.

              Oregonlive is the online arm of what used to be Portland's last daily newspaper, the Oregonian.
              wweek.com is the online presence for Willamette Week, the alternative weekly. (it is liberal because it is published in Portland for Portlanders, but it is the less-liberal of Portland's weekly newspapers, the Portland Mercury is far more left-leaning.)

    2. In Massachusetts, any certified teacher reading that article would be legally obligated to report it to the Mass Dept of Children & Familes (DCF)

      No. Please stop pretending you know anything about the law.

      1. Why stop there. Ed, please stop pretending that you know anything about all those other things you don't know about, either.

      2. I mean, it takes one second of thought to realize how ludicrous Dr. Ed's claim is. If something is published in a newspaper, hundreds or thousands of teachers will read it. Does Dr. Ed think there is any reason the state would want hundreds or thousands of people without any firsthand knowledge to call up and report something that is already publicly known?

  7. "I mean, it takes one second of thought to realize how ludicrous Dr. Ed’s claim is"

    Such a shame he couldn't spare a whole second before posting it.

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