Teacher With Fear of Kids Loses Her Disability Case
Appeals court sides with school district
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 11, 2015 6:57 PM CST
This 2011 photo shows Maria Waltherr-Willard.   (AP Photo/Community Press, Heidi Fallon)

(Newser) – When someone with a phobia of children becomes a teacher, you just know it's going to end up in the courts somehow. Such is the case in Ohio, where Maria Waltherr-Willard has just lost an appeal in federal court over her disability claim. Education Week provides the background: Waltherr-Willard worked for years as a foreign-language teacher at a high school in Cincinnati's Mariemont district without a problem. But when the district shifted its French course online in 2009, Waltherr-Willard got transferred to a middle school. She worked there six months, then retired when her request to return to the high school was rejected.

Waltherr-Willard sued the district, arguing that her pedophobia, or fear of young kids, should have prevented her from being transferred to teach the younger set of students. She claimed health problems as a result, reports AP. The 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Ohio, however, rejected her disability claim. The Americans With Disabilities Act "requires an employer to accommodate a disabled employee, but it does not require unreasonable accommodations," ruled the court. The high school no longer had need of her services, and the ADA doesn't require employers to create a new job, it said. The court also rejected her age-discrimination claim, noting that a Spanish teacher who remained at the high school was only two years younger. (Click to read about a teacher whose pop quiz went very, very wrong.)
 

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