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After quick answers please, I know it's wrong area but Mumsnet never lets me down..

(34 Posts)
JeeanieYuss Tue 18-Jun-13 23:51:54

Ok , so briefly a rumour has been started at my daughters school (yr5/6)
, this thing did used to be true however hasn't been for years and am so angry my daughter has been subjected to it.

Can I see a solicitor as this one Mum is basically slandering me, will i get legal aid (am single parent atm, not working as have no childcare and am starting college in Sept, so please no judgyness) : )

I am so angry , but I want it dealt with the correct way. Am meeting with teachers to see what they say but I basically want this stopped in it's tracks and if a scary letter from solic can help I will do it.

Hope this makes sense, an typing quickly amd am exhausted, so need my bed, so good night.... And thankyou 'Oh wise MN'ers grin

you used to be able to get legal aid for malicious falsehood, ie if the person spreading the rumour knows it is not true.

worth checking it out.

WafflyVersatile Wed 19-Jun-13 21:55:26

What jessjessjess says. Polite, calm, understanding. Even if you mostly just want to clock her. and Kinnane too. Get the teachers onside.

TempusFuckit Wed 19-Jun-13 19:24:22

It's not libel as that has to be published, and this is just verbal.

To sue for slander you would have to prove financial loss.

Don't waste time and money on lawyers. I agree with those who say front it out.

LokiTheCynicalCat Wed 19-Jun-13 09:59:40

Wow tequila if you hoick your judgey pants any higher you could floss your teeth with them.

The OP has taken responsibility for her past mistakes, and has learned from it, and by all accounts is doing very well. What a horrid thing to say.

Kinnane Wed 19-Jun-13 09:34:02

JeeanieYuss, I'm sure the school will have the knowledge in how to deal with this, so please talk to them.

jessjessjess Wed 19-Jun-13 09:15:28

I honestly don't think legal action is actually going to solve the problem. I think you should offer to do a talk as suggested above.

I also think you should talk to this mum, face to face. Not in a temper. Don't ask her to stop talking about you. Show her why she shouldn't. Be PAINFULLY polite.

I would say something like: "I just wanted you to know that I understand why you might feel the need to talk about me. But if you're going to gossip, I'd really rather you told the full story. Yes, I took drugs. I went through two major bereavements - my mum and my baby - in a short space of time. I didn't always make the right choices. I'm not ashamed to admit that because nobody is perfect and I certainly don't claim to be."

"But I unmade those choices. I am clean. I do not do drugs any more. It would have been easy to carry on, but I didn't. I don't mind people knowing I made those mistakes once, but I didn't go through all of that just to have someone insist I'm still using when I'm not. I'm sorry if my past frightens you. Just think how I must feel about it."

Then walk away, with your head held high.

EmmelineGoulden Wed 19-Jun-13 08:03:06

You won't get legal aid, but you could see if a solicitor would take you on a no win/no fee basis. Seems unlikely though.

I can see why you're angry about it. I would be furious too. But I suspect your best bet for helping your daughter and squashing the rumour mill in school is to do as Waffly suggests and see if you can address a whole-school assembly.

Cherriesarelovely Wed 19-Jun-13 07:02:22

What a nasty woman, so sorry this has happened. I would go into the school and talk to them about it. We had a rumour circulating about Dd at school (not true). The headteacher was really sympathetic, acted imediately, spoke to the children and said if that didn't stop it she would speak to the parents. Fortunately it did stop. Really well done for getting off and staying offdrugs though, you are a strong, inspiring mum.

HollyBerryBush Wed 19-Jun-13 06:09:54

Slander and Libel are bother civil law not criminal, therefore you are not going to get legal aid.

Some bright spark once said libel/slander cases are the province of the rich who have far too much money and far too much time on their hands.

NoRainNoRainbow Wed 19-Jun-13 05:18:49

Hopefully the other mums will see through this mums shit stirring and gossiping.

Go in with your head held high, it will blow over.

Tell your DD the truth, then let it go. IMO running around talking about slander and losing your rag will give her bullets to shot you with. Ignore ignore ignore, she'll find someone else to bitch about.

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Wed 19-Jun-13 04:54:51

What a nasty spiteful woman.

However, it is out there and there's no way of putting the cat back in the bag - so if I were you, I would ask the school if they would like you to talk to the assemby smile Provided your DC wont die of mortification - they might even be very proud of you.

You have done nothing to be ashamed of. You were a child who lost her Mum and her baby sad

livingdownunder Wed 19-Jun-13 04:02:10

What a horrible vindctive thing to do. We all have a past and our experiences make us who we are today, she'd be wise to keep her uninformed nose out. You sound like you've overcome some very difficult times. I'd go and speak to the school and have them speak with her if that's possible.
Good luck op.

bragmatic Wed 19-Jun-13 03:21:40

I don't see how quietly accepting someone telling lies about you is taking responsibility for past mistakes?

Give the school a chance to deal with it. If that doesn't work, perhaps you could draft a letter to the gossip monger yourself. I wouldn't threaten legal action. Simply ask politely that she stop discussing your past mistakes or fabricating present ones, because even though you don't give a shit about this person's opinion of you (stated more diplomatically, of course) it is affecting the emotional wellbeing of your daughter and it needs to stop.

Tequilatequila Wed 19-Jun-13 02:45:37

I hope you dont get legal aid. Thats not what its there for in the slightest. You dont need any help.. you need to take responsibility for past mistakes.

WafflyVersatile Wed 19-Jun-13 01:12:48

Offer to go in and do a talk at assembly. hmm

JeeanieYuss Wed 19-Jun-13 00:53:46

Its not private knowledge and am v.proud, dont care about me, just the school and kids and that shes saying I still am, am in bed will reply better tommorow, thanks though everyone smile

JeeanieYuss Wed 19-Jun-13 00:51:55

She is saying I am still using, so it's not true as it's been years. Luckily my eldest knows as I wasn't the best mum at the start of her life and I have explained things.
I lost my mum to cancer at 16 and then lost my 1st daughter when she,was 3 months old, a year and a half later. So two major deaths before I was even 18.
Amongst other equally crap stuff happening, this is y I used. My life is totally diff so for this to come up has devastated me and it is lies as I am not a user anymore, thank god x

HarrietSchulenberg Wed 19-Jun-13 00:40:30

The CAB can advise you. In the meantime, speak to school as they can do wonders with a well planned assembly on the dangers of spreading rumours (arming the kids to target the parentsgrin ).

If you know for sure, and I mean SURE, who started these rumours I think a smiley little chat about how you'd appreciate her help in respecting your privacy and how we all have skeletons in closed closets.

HerrenaHarridan Wed 19-Jun-13 00:27:38

If its out its out, there is no putting the lid back on Pandora's box.

Don't let it be a weapon.

BeanoNoir Wed 19-Jun-13 00:21:18

I don't know if this is what you want to hear but I don't think you should be embarrassed or ashamed or try to cover up the fact that you had a drug problem in the past. I think that the fact you have overcome this says something positive, not negative about you and you may actually be better placed to give both your own and other people's children good advice about steering clear/being responsible when they get older.

I know it must seem really difficult but personally I think it would be much stronger for your dc to be able to tell people 'yes, you're right, my mum did have a problem in the past, as lots of people do because drugs are addictive, but she worked really hard to build herself back up and it's not an issue anymore and I'm really proud of her,' than to try and avoid any questions about it. It sort of takes the power away from people who are trying to use it against you iyswim.

On the other hand I am aware I could just be extremely naive and acting like life is a lovely feel good film. Ultimately it should be your choice as to whether personal information about yourself such as this becomes public. Unfortunately I'm not sure what you could do to try and keep it quiet. Would a meeting at the school with the other parent who has told others help if teachers were also present?

HerrenaHarridan Wed 19-Jun-13 00:19:36

Arm your children with the truth.

They are defenceless behind a wall of lies.

Be honest, frank and age appropriate with them.

You have done an amazing thing getting off drugs, why are you ashamed!?!

Everyone has skeletons in their closet, snidey bitch probably more than most.

DumSpiroSpero Wed 19-Jun-13 00:14:32

I believe technically what you are dealing with is 'public disclosure of private information' which is a privacy rather than a defamation issue, unless someone is falsely claiming that you still have issues with drugs.

DumSpiroSpero Wed 19-Jun-13 00:07:53

Call round a few local solicitors that do litigation and see if anyone can give you a free half hour of advice.

You should then be able to draft a letter requesting that the matter is not bought up again, and getting in a mention of the fact that you have sought legal advice from Ms X at ABC Law Firm.

Copy this to the parent concerned and the school, and I suspect it will put the shits up them sufficiently for you to have to take any actual, paid for legal action.

I've done similar over an employment matter just using the legal advice helpline service included in an insurance policy - managed to get the money I was owed by return!

Good luck.

babyhmummy01 Wed 19-Jun-13 00:05:39

if it is true then its not slander or libel I am afraid so I am not sure there is a lot legally you can do. it may possible inflame the situation.

the best bet might be just to sit your kids down and explain the facts to them so that they are hearing it from you rather than anyone else and then calmly speak to the school and see if they can intervene with the parent and ask that this is not repeated further but I suspect this won't happen.

its not a nice thing to have happen, but I am not sure that you can do a huge amount about it sorry

RiotsNotDiets Wed 19-Jun-13 00:05:33

Oh dear. I can see why you're upset.

I'd try and ignore it, reassuring DD and playing it down, but making sure she knows to tell you if anything is said to her. Hopefully if neither of you rise to it, the mother and daughter should get bored of it and it'll pass.

You know how on here people say "don't feed the trolls"? Bullies soon get bored if their tactics don't actually bother their target. It rests on how good a poker face you have!

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