(CN) – The former principal of a public school devoted to the Arabic language and culture did not defame opponents of the school by saying they stalked and harassed her, a New York appellate division ruled.
The school opened in February 2007, with Dhabah Almontaser serving as principal. She resigned in August and gave a press conference on the steps of City Hall.
Almontaser said Sara Springer and other school opponents had engaged in a ferocious smear campaign, stalking and verbally assaulting her.
Springer and her fellow opponents sued Almontaser for defamation over the comments.
The trial court tossed Springer’s lawsuit for failure to state a claim, and the justices of the 2nd District Appellate Division affirmed the dismissal.
“The defendant’s statement that she was stalked and harassed was not an actionable statement of objective fact because it did not have a precise, readily understood meaning, and would clearly be understood by a reasonable listener to be a figurative expression of how she felt as the object of the campaign,” the justices wrote.