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Supreme Court: High school coaches are not public officials

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Supreme Court says parents who defame their children’s public high school coaches don’t have legal protection against their claims.

The high court ruled Wednesday the coaches are not public officials so they have a lower bar to prove any defamation case. The Star Tribune says the court’s decision involves former Woodbury High School girls’ basketball coach Nathan McGuire. Two parents complained to state education officials that McGuire was mistreating his players and one said he had been in jail and that he was stealing funds.

McGuire filed a defamation lawsuit against the parents, which a district court dismissed on grounds that he, as a coach, was a public official and failed to prove the parents recklessly made a false report.

An appeals court upheld the lower court, but the Supreme Court reversed the decision.

Associated Press

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