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Libel suit dismissed

A Tarrant County judge has dismissed a libel claim filed against the Dallas Observer in 1996 by former Dallas Independent School District teacher Deen Williamson.

State district Judge Bob McGrath granted the Observer's motion for summary judgment last Friday, ruling that the case should not proceed to trial. McGrath also ordered Williamson to pay all court costs in the case. The Observer had argued that Williamson filed her lawsuit outside the one-year statute of limitations for libel claims.

Williamson was terminated by DISD in January, 1996, after a review panel concluded that she showed errors of judgment in making racially insensitive comments to her fifth-grade class.

The former teacher sued the Observer and columnist Laura Miller over a November 16, 1995, column Miller wrote about the incident titled "They wanted to destroy me."

Williamson, who represented herself in the libel suit, told an Observer attorney that she plans to appeal the dismissal.


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