Accused of defamation

@seabeauty (1480)
United States
March 23, 2008 10:17pm CST
One of my neighbors accused me of defamation recently. It was a real shock. Here is the story.. Her 11 year old son said something inappropriate to my daughter. I went over to her house and spoke to her husband about it. He was outside talking to a few of the other neighbors. He had his son apologize to my daughter and everything was fine or so I thought. She came over the next day and asked if anyone else heard him say it. I said as far as I know, no. She said well it's defamation. I was hurt that she would accuse me of it. Found out later there were 2 other witnesses to the boys comment. I asked my son and his friends about it. My son said he heard the boy say it and one of my daughters friends said that she heard him say it. She said I should have pulled her husband aside to speak to him about the matter instead of discussing it in front of other people. I am guessing that is why she accused me of defamation. He must have been embarrassed by what I did. I did apologize but she never apologized to me for her sons remark. It really bothers me. How would you feel in this situation?
5 people like this
9 responses
@cortjo73 (6500)
• United States
24 Mar 08
That is a tough call. I can't remember the rules but, I think for it to be defamation, didn't you have to write it? Or, is that slander? I don't know. I might have pulled her or her hubby aside and spoken to them privately. She is going a little overboard though. It is just about kids and, kids will be cruel to one another. For her to get that upset about something that will eventually most likely fade and be forgotten shows how uptight she is. And, she isn't helping the situation any by continuing to keep the situation in the light. Time to move on and let everyone else move on. Is she preparing to bring legal action? That would be ridiculous!
1 person likes this
@seabeauty (1480)
• United States
24 Mar 08
I don't know if she will but if she does I have 2 child witnesses, my 11 year old son and my daughters 10 year old friend. What her son said was very inappropriate and I am not sure I can repeat it here but I can put the initials I hope. He told her to go B R herself. My daughter has no clue what B R'ing is. It is not a term we use in the house. I think you all can figure out what the initials are. I don't think she will go through all the trouble and expense of taking it to court. I am sure the judge will throw the case out.
2 people like this
@Hatley (164257)
• Garden Grove, California
24 Mar 08
seabeauty she does not have a case at all she is just being overreactive and protecting her bratty son whom she should be teaching not to be such a brat instead of yelling at you and threatening defamation she is being a drama queen and not a good mother.
1 person likes this
@cortjo73 (6500)
• United States
24 Mar 08
Sheesh! If I understand what it is, that is pretty disgusting language for a child! Sounds like Mom is ashamed of herself for raising such a little jerk and she is taking it out on you! There is a kid down the street that bullies all of the other kids on my street and throughout the neighborhood. He has been disrespectful to adults and, once he got suspended from school for bullying and beating up another kid. So, you would think that in relating the story to others, Dad would say something like, "we don't know what has gotten into him but, we are working to correct the problem." Instead, his dad related the story to someone and when he was done saying his son got suspended from school for beating another kid up, he said "My boy!" In an extremely boastful and proud papa way! Way to go. He and his wife talk about how religious they are! Hmmm...I wonder what God would think if he related his "My Boy!" story straight to the man upstairs himself. Some parents should not be parents!
@sid556 (30997)
• United States
24 Mar 08
I do agree with her that you should have not told the father about it in front of other people. Whenever I have felt the need to clue a parent in on something, I always do it in private as that is how I would want it done. I don't know what the comment was but 11 yr old boys are so apt to be inappropriate. I not only have 4 girls but I was raised in an all boy family along with all my brothers friends being around...trust me...this is common. What I would have done really and have done is I would have confronted the boy himself and not in a mean way. I once waited for days and days to catch a certain boy alone and I took him aside and talked to him about respecting girls etc. At first he was mortified but he calmed down as I talked. He later told my daughter that she had the nicest mom and she thanked me for how I handled it. Her biggest fear in telling me was that I was going to run to his parens and get him in trouble. I could be wrong here because I don't know just what was said but to me, it sounds as if both sides are over-reacting a bit. I would go and talk to this mom. You did not defame him and he probably was just being 11.
1 person likes this
@sid556 (30997)
• United States
24 Mar 08
ps. I can see this coming down....the kids make up and are friends again and the parents end up enemies. i say, talk to your neighbor.
1 person likes this
@seabeauty (1480)
• United States
24 Mar 08
Originally that is what I did, I went straight to the child and I was told by one of the parents that I should not go to the child. I was told that If i have a problem I should go directly to the parents because "children have fragile ego's" She was mad at me for approaching her 9 year old daughter about an issue involving her and my daughter. I never know the right thing to do...sigh!!!
1 person likes this
@sid556 (30997)
• United States
24 Mar 08
I think it all depends on the people involved. I personally would want to know what my child is up to and even tho I'd prefer to be told in private, I would not have gotten real upset if you had told me in front of my friends. I think some parents don't want others to know that their kids maybe are not perfect....they take the actions of their kids as a reflection of their own parenting. It is too bad because it isn't always. Kids just do things and they need to be corrected.
@nicholejade (2430)
• Canada
24 Mar 08
Why didn't you pull her husband off to the side and said it where no one else was around? Why would you say whatever he said infront of your other neighbours. I agree with your neighbour on this one that you should of said it in private and not publicaly for them all to hear. Yes the boy may have apoligized for what he said. And yes I agree with you apoligizing for what you did. I still think that it is fair for your neighbour to apologize as well. Maybe she will after she gets over what happened.
@seabeauty (1480)
• United States
24 Mar 08
Honestly I didn't think it was a big deal. Kids make mistakes. No child is perfect. Even mine. Anyway..my son is still allowed to hang out with the boy I just won't let him in my house and I told my daughter to stay away from him.
1 person likes this
• Canada
24 Mar 08
Yes kids make mistakes. But to broadcast what he did to the world is not ok. It was bad on your part.
• United States
24 Mar 08
I agree that you should've talked to him privately instead of calling him out in front of guests. That was rather inappropriate considering it was a private matter and I'm sure it was rather embarrassing. That being said, it's equally as inappropriate for her to use such a word and claim as "defamation" over child drama. Stuff happens between kids and sure, parents have to interfere at times, but defamation? Come on...that's a bit dramatic for something that happened between kids.
1 person likes this
@roniroxas (10574)
• Philippines
24 Mar 08
angry. thats the reason why when my children were younger i dont let them play outside. some children are really naughty and they have parents who does not believe that their childrens are naughty. it will really start a fued between the adults. based on your story it seems like the father of the 11 year old boy is more easy to talk to than the mom. it was rude for her not apologizing. but atleast you showed her that you are an adult not like her.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
24 Mar 08
You shouldn't be bothered. You did the right thing and besides, you already apoligized. Lilybug is right, defamation is a public malicious comment that strives to destroy a reputation. If your intentions were malicious then it is defamation, but you meant the husband no pain or someting like that. I have studied libel and defamation for a year now, and this definitely does not fall into it, and you can tell them to read up in the dictionary. Now you could accuse them of defamation because they accused you wrongly and did a false statement trying to bring you harm...hehe...Keep your chin up ^^ dont feel bothered about it.
1 person likes this
@emarie (5451)
• United States
24 Mar 08
I would probably feel the same. But I do see her point in you should have told the husband in private instead of in front of people. It would be a polite thing to do. I don't know what her son said, but it must have been pretty bad for the father to be embarrassed. I do think she took it a little too personally in thinking what others think about her, she should concentrate on what her child said then what others think. My husband thinks the same way. I would just piss about it for a while and drop it because its not worth worrying about unless it happens again.
1 person likes this
@lilybug (21145)
• United States
24 Mar 08
Defamation is the communication of a statement that makes a false claim, expressively stated or implied to be factual, that may harm the reputation of an individual, business, product, group, government or nation. It cannot be called defamation if what you said is actually true. You maybe should have said something when no one else was around, but even though you did not it is still not defamation.
1 person likes this
@Hatley (164257)
• Garden Grove, California
24 Mar 08
Probably others might not agree with me but I think your neighbors have blown this all out of proportion and now wish they had not had their son apologize this is what so often happens You did what was right and why should there be any defamation involved unless they are doing this out of spite which seems pretty likely to me. they seem to me to be completely out of line after all it was their son who made the inappropriate remark to your daughter not vice versa. You apologized so what the heck more do they want.theywere to blame for having raised a son who made the remark in the first place.