My question involves defamation in the state of: Washington
I asked for a positive recommendation from my principal and another administrative staff at my school and was told that I would have one.
I also asked the principal to write a letter of recommendation for me. He did and it contained nothing but positive statements.
Applied for dozens of teaching positions within the district and was never contacted once by anyone.
Was able to see what the principal and the other staff person had written about me on a district online form (that all schools are able to view when posting an open position at their school). They wrote that I was not a good teacher and could not work effectively with other staff, parents or the community. They also wrote that I was not a good fit for the district.
Both of my reviews were stellar and I was never approached by either one about any concerns they had regarding my abilities to work with staff, parents or community. This includes email, phone or written communication or face to face conversation.
I have been teaching for more than 7 years and have a Master's Degree. ALL references from my prior district are positive including their statements and ratings that share the same space with what the principal and the other staff wrote about me.
This was my first year at this school and in this district. I was hired on a One-year contract (not because of merit but rather because of the reason for the vacancy I was filling--- a leave of absence). After working there for several months, I learned of the ongoing turmoil regarding the principal and staff at that school including the fact that only 7 staff of an original 40+ remained since the principal in question came to work at that school.
The issues are too numerous to list.
I feel as if I have been singled out and prevented from gaining employment within the district because of the very words written about me and the ratings they gave me ( almost all of the ratings were 'falls in the bottom 50% of skill level' or ideas to that effect) in this online recommendation.
For those unfamiliar with the teaching world, a teacher is typically required to have a recommendation from your current/most recent principal or at minimum list them as a reference. Clearly I am out of luck in this department.
At this point, I do not have a job for the fall. I applied for jobs within my district believing that I had positive references from all listed in my application. I did not apply outside the district because I had reason to believe I would be hired (again) by the district for another teaching position.
At this point, there are virtually no positions available in any district in the area and most likely will not be until mid-August or later. Even then though, this malicious information about me remains for any potential principal of mine to see (at least within this district).
Help. What recourse do I have?