Is fear of young children a legitimate phobia or a good reason to try to shake down a school district? We’re about to find out.
In Ohio, the Associated Press reports, Maria Waltherr-Willard is suing the school district for disrimination after the high school Spanish and French teacher was transferred to a Cincinnati middle school.
She claims all those seventh- and eighth-graders triggered her anxiety, forcing her to retire. She claims her fear of young children falls under the federal American with Disabilities Act and the district violated it by transferring her to the school.
But the Cincinnati Enquirer goes deeper, and notes the beginning of her problems wasn’t kids, it was parents:
According to her personnel file, Waltherr-Willard scored high marks in all of the written evaluations she received over the years, including the latest in 2010. She had a continuing contract with the school district, which is similar to having tenure, and made about $84,000 a year.
She began having trouble in 2009, when she discussed with parents the likelihood that the district would eliminate teacher-led French courses at the high school. The high school planned to offer it online.
Parents complained, and in December of that year, Superintendent Paul Imhoff and high school principal James Renner reprimanded Waltherr-Willard, warning her that if she continued talking to parents about the French changes, her job would be at risk and they would put a memo in her personnel file.