Mishmeres HaSholom: Ask the Rav

Q:I work in special ed and wanted to ask if it is permissible to freely discuss with other staff members difficulties and problems we encounter with our students. Would this constitute lashon hara, or would it not be considered sharing derogatory information because we all understand that these children have no control over their behavior and are not to be blamed? Also, do we have to differentiate between a student who doesn’t comprehend what we say and one who does? I want to emphasize that we do not have these conversations for constructive purposes, or to unburden ourselves, but rather to share our experiences.


A:There is no basic halachic problem with discussing difficulties and problems encountered with developmentally delayed children, because it is known that this is their normal behavior.

Yet, it would seem that it is preferable to avoid mentioning names, and to discuss the problems and not the children.