A former Ohio teacher, Maria Waltherr-Willard, attempted to sue her old school for discriminating against her because of her pedophobia – the fear of children. However, the federal Court of Appeals dismissed her breach-of-contract claim in a win for the school district.
Waltherr-Willard taught French and Spanish at Mariemont City High School, Cincinnati since 1976. In 2009, she was transferred to district’s middle-school where the presence of younger children seemingly triggered her intense phobia.
The 63-year-old claims that she requested the school district transfer her back to the high school multiple times, but they failed to do so. Spending all her time surrounded with the very essence of her fears affected her blood pressure, ultimately leading to an early retirement.
The ex-teacher believes she has lost out on at least $100,000 of potential income as a result of her allegedly forced early retirement.
The Americans with Disabilities Act covers Waltherr-Willard’s rare condition, but the school district’s attorney Gary Winters claims that the former teacher simply “wants money.”
“Let’s keep in mind that our goal here is to provide the best teachers for students and the best academic experience for students, which certainly wasn’t accomplished by her waking out on them in the middle of the year,” Winters said.
It is unclear how much compensation Waltherr-Willard is demanding.
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