Parent ordered to pay teacher $10,000 for defamation
Published Tuesday, January 15, 2013 12:53PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, January 16, 2013 1:19PM EST
MONTREAL - A judge has ordered Montreal parent Joanne Bayly to pay Bancroft Elementary School teacher Francois Lukawecki $10,000 for sending defamatory e-mails.
The issue began in October 2007 when Lukawecki, who teaches second grade, told Bayly that she could not take photos during a children’s talent show.
Bayly complained to the principal and emailed the same complaint to other parents as well.
Bayly, who works as a radio news announcer, also wrote similar notes to school board officials from her CBC email account.
Lukawecki sued for defamation and a judge has now ruled that the content of the emails was false and that, “Mrs. Bayly knew very well the consequences of the various statements...the court believes that her conduct constitutes an unlawful and intentional interference with Mr. Lukawecki's fundamental right to safeguard his reputation.”
The judge ordered Bayly to pay Lukawecki $5,000 for moral damages and $5,000 for exemplary damages.
Bayly declined to comment on the ruling.
Lukawecki,meanwhile, expressed satisfaction with the decision.
“To have witnesses corroborate my version and to have the truth come out is definitely satisfying,” Lukawecki told CTV Montreal.
The head of the Montreal Teachers Association said that parents need to remain responsible in their dealings with teachers.
“We don't want to be sitting ducks as teachers, just waiting for the next parent who happens to be irrational and say a lot of things about us that are not true, but that could nonetheless ruin our careers,” said Ruth Rosenfield.