The Law @ Work

Schoolteacher sues school district for failing to accommodate fear of children

Just when you thought you had heard it all:  Maria Waltherr-Willard, a former high school Spanish and French teacher in Cincinnati claims she was forced to retire after her school district transferred her to teach at the middle school.  Waltherr-Willard claims to have a “fear of young children” that was triggered when she was assigned to teach the younger middle school students.  She alleges that her phobia is a disability protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act and that the school district violated the ADA by transferring her to work with younger children and again by refusing to return her to her position in the high school.  Waltherr-Willard claims that the transfer adversely affected her health and caused her loss of income due to her earlier-than-expected retirement.  The school district explained that the reason it transferred Waltherr-Willard was because the French program at the high school was transitioning to an online program and the middle school needed a Spanish teacher.

For more information, click here for the Associated Press story.

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