Teacher with a phobia of young kids sues her school district for discrimination!
Well, this is the one of the weirdest cases I've ever heard! An Ohio high school Spanish and French teacher is suing her school district, claiming she was discriminated against for her sex, age, and--wait for it--her apparent phobia of young children. What?!
Maria C. Waltherr-Willard has no children of her own, but has spent plenty of time around kids while employed as a teacher in Cincinnati for 35 years. But apparently, the experience hasn't been all that pleasant for her. During her tenure, the 61-year-old was diagnosed with a unique phobia--severe anxiety around young children!
According to the lawsuit, Waltherr-Willard gave medical documentation of this phobia to the school district, in order to inform them of her need to remain at the high school level of teaching. Both parties agreed that they she would not be transferred from her position. But then, the French program at the high school was eliminated and Waltherr-Willard was told she'd have to be transferred to the middle school.
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Though she took the job, she's now claiming that working with the younger students negatively affected her health and that she was forced into early retirement after her request for a transfer was denied. In response, Waltherr-Willard is seeking past and future pay, compensatory damages, punitive damages, and attorneys' fees.
Okay, is it me or is this whole thing just ridiculous? I can't believe this is even being allowed to go to trial. I mean, didn't this woman choose to be a teacher? And aren't teachers sometimes required to, oh I don't know, be around children? If she was that anxious around young kids, she probably should've chosen a different profession!
Besides, she spent 35 years at the job. If she was so unhappy there, why didn't she just look for another one? Maybe answers will come out during the trial...
Image via ABC News