Pedophobic Teacher Sues School District for Discrimination

A high school teacher is suing the Mariemont school district for discriminating against her because she has a disability: Pedophobia—She fears children. Just so we’re clear, a teacher who fears children sued her school for discrimination.

Maria C. Waltherr-Willard (age 61) claims the district where she worked for 35 years discriminated against her when it reassigned her in 2010 from its high school to its junior high and then pressured her to resign. Since the 1990s Waltherr-Willard has been up front with the district about her condition. She suffers from pedophobia, extreme fear or anxiety around young children. The school district assured her that she would not have to teach young children. Her doctors, psychiatrists, and psychologists told lawyers that she experiences stress, anxiety, chest pains, vomiting, nightmares and higher than healthy blood pressure when she’s around young children.

She went to work at the Jr. high but suffered from high blood pressure and decided to resign. She thinks the district forced her out.

Now for the district’s side of the story. They claim that Waltherr-Willard started telling parents that the school was doing away with French classes and moving to online-only French instruction. When parents complained, school officials reprimanded Waltherr-Willard. But they did eventually get rid of in-class French instruction. That’s when they transferred Waltherr-Willard to Jr. High. When she reported her high blood pressure and asked to move back to high school there were no teaching positions available but the district agreed to keep her request on file.

I don’t know what to make of this! The case is still pending. It’s so strange. I mean, I have sympathy for this woman. I have claustrophobia, but then again I didn’t get a job in a mine shaft.

One also wonders, wouldn’t working in a Jr. High raise anyone’s blood pressure? How would you rule in this case?

Read more of my writing at Babble and at my blog, Every Day I Write the Book.

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