A FORMER teacher sues blogger for defamation

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A FORMER teacher sues blogger for defamation

Postby verykiasu2010 » Tue Nov 16, 2010 2:26 pm

A FORMER teacher and a blogger are headed for a showdown in the courts in a defamation case.

When the teacher, Mrs Janet Wong, came across a blog by Madam Jayne Goh alleging that she took bribes from parents and guardians in return for places for their children in her school, she sued the blogger for defamation. Madam Goh also alleged that Mrs Wong was sacked for what she did.

Mrs Wong had sought a summary judgment from the High Court, which would have granted her a victory without the case going to trial, but Justice Steven Chong saw justification for a trial, which would blow open the web of online allegations and how 'reasonable readers' could be expected to have interpreted them.

This is believed to be the first case of alleged defamation by a blogger that will go to trial.

A trial means witnesses will be examined, evidence taken and submissions made; a summary judgment would have kept the matter in the judge's chambers, where lawyers fight the case based on claims made and documents admitted.

Mrs Wong, in her 50s and a retiree, says Madam Goh, 43, defamed her by alleging she had demanded $3,000 for each student placed in the secondary school, which was not named in court papers.

Read the full story in The Straits Times today.

http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNew ... 03804.html


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Postby toddles » Tue Nov 16, 2010 2:38 pm

interesting... i wonder what school the teacher was from.

i suppose she could have just said it was the usual donation to the school, and was not solicited or made under compulsion.

but if she had taken the money into her own pocket, then of course that's a different matter altogether...

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Postby tankee » Tue Nov 16, 2010 2:42 pm

IMO, this case should go to trial and open the facts for all to see.

Personally I doubt that any teacher would have that "power" and if it is a bribery case, it would probably had been in the news earlier.

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Postby mrswongtuition » Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:48 pm

This is why I always tell students never to blog about teachers, even with nicknames or initials only.

Many of such cases never made it to court because most of them will promptly delete the posts and make an apology annoucement on their blogs.

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Postby ChiefKiasu » Tue Nov 16, 2010 10:41 pm

This is an important case for bloggers and the virtual community at large. The outcome will probably set the precedent for how the law views defamation cases in the cyber world. If the court finds the defendent guilty, it will place the onus on bloggers and people who post messages online to ensure that their words cannot be construed to be defamatory.

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