Teacher Has Fear of Kids So She Sues School for Making Her Teach Them

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teacherHere's your good laugh for the day. A teacher is suing her former school district because she says they discriminated against her illness. But we're not just talking any illness here. Maria Waltherr-Willard claims to suffer from a fear of children.

I mentioned that she was a teacher, didn't I? Ah, only in America do we have teachers who want money for being forced to teach a bunch of little ankle-biters who give them the willies.

Waltherr-Willard's lawsuit is based on a claim of pedophobia. She says teaching young kids makes her so sick she vomits, suffers chest pains, and has sky-rocketing blood pressure.

As for the rather obvious question -- why was she teaching in the first place -- the Spanish teacher claims she was just fine with high school kids. It was when the Mariemont school district dared to put her in a room with a bunch of junior high kids that her ick factor kicked in. When they wouldn't send her back to the big kids, she retired, and now she wants money from the district. 

This is where I admit I am not a doctor, and refuse to dive into whether pedophobia is legitimate or not.

But I am a member of America's working class, and I do have a tad bit of common sense. This is why I took a job as a writer, sitting at a desk all day, rather than signing up for the Navy SEALs. This asthmatic is not cut out for that kind of training, and I know it.

Unfortunately there are many folks in America who fail to apply common sense to their careers. The guy with a back problem applies for a job that requires heavy lifting and expects the employer to make accommodations. The woman who gets the willies from being around kids decides to be a teacher.

They should be ashamed of themselves for even floating the idea. Instead they take to the courts, abusing the discrimination laws that are on the books, laws that are there to serve a much greater purpose for folks who are truly being hurt by backward bosses.

Yes, employers have an obligation in this country to abide by fair labor practices. But employees should have an obligation to be fair too, to recognize when a job just isn't a good fit -- due to no fault of the employer.

Where do we draw the line between what an employer should have to do to provide a pleasant workplace and what is just plain ludicrous?

Do you think this teacher deserves some money for what she went through, or should she have found a new career?


Image via Corey Leopold/Flickr

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mande... manderspanders

Um, you know your post really takes this situation out of context.

Although I do believe it to be ridiculous for someone with this condition to enter the teaching profession (at least in K-12 area), she still has a illness that was recognized by her school district as being covered under the ADA.

Also, she is near retirement age and the high school she worked at was considering making the foreign language courses online only and cut out face to face instruction (which would mean she's out of a job).  She was moved to the middle school setting after it became known that she was spreading information against the switch to online foreign language courses.

I'd say the school district did it to get rid of her.  And if she had a contract stating that they would not move her to a middle or elementary school AND if this is protected by the ADA, then I'd say she has a good case... even though I think she is nuts.

Doomy234 Doomy234

Wow. Lol. Junior high kids arent much younger than high school kids. And there are always going to be some kids that look younger than others even in high school. If you cant handle kids or being around them, uh, dont work as a teacher? She could have applied for a job as a college teacher if she didnt want to be around anyone under a certain age.

nonmember avatar Amy

Mrs. Waltherr was my teacher at Mariemont from 93-97. She used to hide under her desk and took numerous days off. She was always seen as a nut but now I see there might have been a legitimate psychological issue. Considering how much I know she cost the district in substitute teachers just in the four years I was there, I think its safe to say that they could have used her fear against her to get rid of her. She does have what amounts to tenure at Mariemont so this is a pretty crafty method of getting around it.

Tiffa... TiffanyMarie80

Get your facts straight - 1) this woman went into teaching high school before the phobia of younger kids developed. 2) the phobia did not affect the job she was hired for. 3) the school district knew about the phobia, and knowingly placed her with younger students because they wanted her to quit, for reasons already explained in the first comment. I'm not a fan of nonsense lawsuits, but this school district is clearly in the wrong and needs to make it right

Tiffa... TiffanyMarie80

I stand corrected- Amy mentioned that she was a student in the class and that the teacher hid under the desk and took numerous sick days. If this is true, then her illness was indeed affecting her job and she should have removed herself.

nonmember avatar Amy

Yes, this is true. I had her in high school, so it affected her high school teaching as early as 93 that I can vouch for. I remember her as a nice but very quirky woman. She had "bad days" where she would turn on a Disney movie dubbed in French (one of the other languages she taught) or Spanish and then sit under her desk or leave the room. Her room was the smallest foreign language room. She missed a lot of school as well. She never caused any harm but there wasn't a whole lot of learning going on in her classroom.

Texas... TexasSonrisa

Whoa, Caera. Slow your roll on the snark, angry elf.  If her certification was for grades 6-12 (which most are now, some are even EC-12) then there was always a possibility that she could be moved down, hence the "Why become a teacher?" question. Obviously her "disability" was affecting her job performance, and no, she should not be compensated anything. This is a frivolous and ridiculous lawsuit. 

lulou lulou

Im with the frivolous lawsuit.  It didnt sound like there was a lot of teaching going on, and I dont quite buy into this

"Her trouble with the Mariemont school district began when she told parents that online French classes might replace teacher-led classes. Irked school officials warned her not to spill the beans on such proposed cuts, and, she alleges, retaliated by sending her down to junior high."

All schools are looking at budget cuts, and more efficieint while effective ways to teach.  If thats her premise, her suit falls apart right there.

lulou lulou

An obvious solution here would have been for her to do virtual teaching.

tuffy... tuffymama

So she ran her mouth about the online program, got punished for it, and is now slapping the district with a lawsuit? She's a liar, first of all. Second, won't her wonderful teachers union help her out? SMH. People.

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