– November 06, 2006:

TEACHERS are being warned to watch what they write and say about students because of the risk of being sued for defamation.

New South Wales schools have also been urged to closely vet student scripts for theatrical performances and postings on school websites, blogs or electronic bulletins.

At least one former Year 12 student complained he had been defamed in the school magazine and threatened to sue everyone involved.

Parents as well as students have threatened legal action over comments made by teachers or pupils at school.

The advice comes as anger has exploded in schools over new student reports which grade students on a scale of A to E for academic performance.

Already some parents have expressed disappointment to their school over their child receiving E grades – a scenario many teachers believe labels the student as a failure.

Parents and Citizens’ Association president Di Giblin believes words such as lazy or phrases such as “can try harder” should not be used.

It is very important when referring to young people that their self-esteem is not damaged,” Ms Giblin said.

“All too often we hear threats of litigation . . . and what we are seeing imported into Australia and into our schools is that litigious environment or mindset that is so prevalent in the United States.”

  1. Bryan says:

    That’s right — lets blow smoke up all of these kids bumms so when they go into the real world and are not adjusted what-so-ever they break down.

    That’s exactly what we need, thank god I was atleast raised right. I lost on sports teams, I was sometimes picked last, if I messed up I was told so. But when I did good and recieved praise it made me want to try all the harder to never have the former happen again.

    Stay classy everyone

  2. Andrew says:

    So how have they graded students in the past if they didn’t use A-E(F)?

    I am a senior high school student in a Maryland public school and have never heard of anyone almost suing because of poor grades or nasty school magazine articles.

    Every comment on my report card says “Not performing to best of abilities” or “Could try harder” and once “Bad Attitude”.

    Maybe I should start cutting myself, “attempt” suicide, and sue the school district for millions, because the comments caused me so much anguish.

  3. TD says:


    I love it I finally have reason to bash my friend form australia for his country! I will admit that the american educations system is screwed, but with NZ allowing sms speak and now this! I am beginning to think that maybe the US education system isn’t so bad. How weird.

  4. Curmudgen says:

    That’s my boy!! I was you 60 yrs ago. (TRUE)

    I prefer you forget the 4th paragraph though.

  5. Miguel Correia says:

    The world is gone fuckin’ crazy!! Not telling students “you can do better” because it harms their fucking self esteem???

    Seems like a generation of sissies is going to inhabit Australia in the future.

  6. edwinrogers says:

    Newspaper ratings bait, swallowed whole.

  7. WokTiny says:

    even the Aussies are blaming the republicans!!!

    😉 😉

  8. OhForTheLoveOf says:

    #6 – You are the reader who could read between the lines… Rating’s bait is exactly what that was.

    Bellowing and blustering with self-righteous indignance, we’ll dog-pile on the thread with opinions and facts derived from our collective ZERO years of experience dealing in these matters… The schools are screwed! Kids today are pansies! The sky is falling! We’re doomed… DOOMED I TELLS YA!


    It’s okay…

    The Democrats won…

    Relax. Everything will be better now.

  9. JimR says:

    I thought E stood for excellent. Damn!

  10. Curt Fields says:

    It’s The lawyers again.

  11. Mr. Fusion says:

    #9, Jim,
    In one of my cars I have one gage that has an “F” for Ford and an E for “Edsel”. When I drive it it points a lot towards “Ford”. When my brother in law drives it it is always closer to “Edsel”.

  12. JimR says:

    #11… Ah, so you’re upset with your brother in law for leaving you without a Ford?

  13. Nobody says:

    Well…At least we know for sure what the world will be like in the next twenty years. New Zealanders will be writing business reports in textspeak, and Ausies will threaten to sue whenever they are criticised.

    The future is bright, and we must welcome it with open arms.

  14. Gills says:

    Yeah we have real problems here in Aus. We’re raising a generation of irresponsible antisocials cause the bureaucrats have allowed the parents to dictate how their children should be educated. Parents don’t like to hear that they are raising a brat, so if a child has problems it’s always the school’s fault and never the parent’s. As the brother/son/nephew of a family of teachers I can tell u its going to hell. Teachers in preschools/kindergartens are not allowed to tell a child they are naughty or punish them anymore, they have to try and reason with them. how do u reason with a 4 year old whacking other kids in the head with toy hammers and such?
    It’s gonna lead to a generation of criminals.

  15. The other Tom says:

    Isn’t that, you know, how your whole Australia thing got started?

    Seemed to work out well for you ’til now


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