Question:

What is the heter for the secretary in a school to type all the school grades (even the low grades and behavior problems) into the computer system. There is no toeles for her to know anything; she is not involved in the chinuch of the boys. Granted there is a toeles of having it in the computer system, but not for her to know it. Since it can be accomplished in a different way (although it is not convenient for the principal/ rebbi/ teacher), it would seem that that would be proper. What do you think?

Answer:

You are bringing up an interesting point, and it is not only with the secretary of a school put also a doctor secretary, that she has to write up and print medical information which can be very derogatory, or the secretary of a bais din, that writes up the claims of the two sides, which most probably contains loshon hora.  It seems to be a controversial issue if it is permitted of not. There are a number of poskim that say that since the secretary is like the extended hand of the doctor or the school, and therefore it is as if the principle is writing it. Another reason they give is because the person being spoken about knows that secretary is going to print their medical results, or that the secretary is going to fill in the marks. Therefore it is as if the person consented to his being spoken about, and permitted.  Others say that nevertheless it is still not permitted.

Sources:

Tzitz Eliezer 20-52, Nishmas Avrohom 4- CH:M 420 ftnt. 7 in the name of R’ Neuwirth zt”l that it is permitted, and R’ S. Z. Auerbach held that the doctor should write it on his own, but if this isn’t possible then the secretary can write it.  On the other hand see Chashukei Chemed Sanhedrin 31. R’ Y. Zilberstein shlit”a writes that it is lashon hora and the doctor has to take off time to write these things himself. He also writes there that R’ Eliyashev zt”l agreed to this. R’ Y. Cahn shlit”a also holds this way. Also see Chut Shani Shmiras Halashon pg. 342.

Tags: lashon hora

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