Teacher With Fear of Young Children Loses Case Against School District

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An Ohio French/Spanish teacher with a fear of young children has lost her lawsuit to mandate her employer (Mariemont school district) transfer her back to the high school after a program change landed her into the middle school.

She is afflicted with Pedophobia, a debilitating fear of young children, which is actually a mental condition. It made up part of her case.

Her lawsuit was also based on age discrimination. She said a younger teacher was given a high school position teaching Spanish. That’s true but he was only two years younger.

The teacher, 63-year old Maria Waltherr-Willard (photo above), was to transfer to the elementary school in 1997 but her therapist confirmed her disability would keep her from doing her job.

She continued in the high school until 2009 when Mariemont High School moved its French courses online, eliminating her position at the high school.

The school district could only find a place for her in the middle school. At first, she didn’t object, but after six months she wanted back into the high school. There were no positions for her so she insisted on another person’s position, a man two years younger.

She sued for age discrimination under the the Americans for Disabilities Act. She also claimed the school failed to accommodate her Pedophobia.

She lost the case.

A federal district court ruled for the school district on the teacher’s claims, and in a Feb. 11 decision in Waltherr-Willard v. Mariemont City Schools, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, in Cincinnati, unanimously affirmed the lower court.

The school did not have to make unreasonable accommodations for her by creating a new job or displacing the current teacher, the court determined. They also refused to accept the age basis for her claim given it was only a two year difference.

Source: Ed Week Blogs