Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Ohio ex-teacher sues, says she fears young kids

Posted by   + Show Post

Ohio ex-teacher sues, says she fears young kids

By AMANDA LEE MYERS Tuesday, January 15, 2013 2:20 PM EST

This 2011 photo shows Maria Waltherr-Willard, 61, who taught Spanish and French at...

CINCINNATI (AP) - A former high school teacher is accusing school district administrators of discriminating against her because of a rare phobia she says she has: a fear of young children.

Maria Waltherr-Willard, 61, had been teaching Spanish and French at Mariemont High School in Cincinnati since 1976.

Waltherr-Willard, who does not have children of her own, said that when she was transferred to the district's middle school in 2009, the seventh- and eighth-graders triggered her phobia, causing her blood pressure to soar and forcing her to retire in the middle of the 2010-2011 school year.

In her lawsuit against the district, filed in federal court in Cincinnati, Waltherr-Willard said that her fear of young children falls under the federal American with Disabilities Act and that the district violated it by transferring her in the first place and then refusing to allow her to return to the high school.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages.

Gary Winters, the school district's attorney, said Tuesday that Waltherr-Willard was transferred because the French program at the high school was being turned into an online one and that the middle school needed a Spanish teacher.

"She wants money," Winters said of Walter-Willard's motivation to sue. "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 walking out on them in the middle of the year."

Waltherr-Willard and her attorney, Brad Weber, did not return calls for comment Tuesday.

Winters also denied Walter-Willard's claim that the district transferred her out of retaliation for her unauthorized comments to parents about the French program ending - "the beginning of a deliberate, systematic and calculated effort to squeeze her out of a job altogether," Weber wrote in a July 2011 letter to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The lawsuit said that Waltherr-Willard has been treated for her phobia since 1991 and also suffers from general anxiety disorder, high blood pressure and a gastrointestinal illness. She was managing her conditions well until the transfer, according to the lawsuit.

by on Jan. 16, 2013 at 4:25 PM
Replies (41-42):
by on Jan. 17, 2013 at 9:47 AM
1 mom liked this

 I buy American! I won't sue them- I'll just put in a claim for disability.......

Quoting candlegal:

Quick, sue the car maker.  It must be their fault.

Quoting Ms.KitKat:

 LOL I am curently feeling phobic about my car- I guess I can't drive to work!

Quoting romalove:

Quoting Ms.KitKat:

 Give me a break for the love of Pete!!!!!! I heard this on the radio the other day. I call FOUL!

Just another entitlement stomping American. If she does not want the transfer then QUIT! There- that was easy!

A school tecaher has a Phobia to children! The next thing you know, the kids will say they have a phobia to teachers! ROTFL

Truly- what has become of this society!?

My daughter is currently exhibiting a phobia of the school building.




by on Jan. 17, 2013 at 9:51 AM

 How pathetic! I really do hope your ds does not take that woman seriously and sees her for the nut-job that she is. Y'know- come to think of it- YOU can sue that teacher for creating a hostile school environment for yoru child. Sue the pants of the BOE for allowing that woman to contiune to teach in the school

Quoting gypsy30:

 There's a teacher like that at my son's school.  But she fears bigger, older kids and she teaches in the high school.  I didn't know she had the problem until she told the super she wanted a meeting with me.  I went to the meeting and it began with, 'your son scares me'.  I was shocked.  My son is really laid back and easy going.  He's also 6'3" and 240 pounds.  I said why does he scare you?  He just does.  I said, has he done something or said something that makes you afraid of him?  She said no.  I looked at the super who seemed just as confused as I was.  The teacher said, 'I feel intimidated by him."  So I asked her again, why?  She said, 'he's a lot bigger than I am and that makes me nervous'.  He's the tallest kid in the school.  It's a very small school.  The super asked her if she feels that way about other kids, and she said she did, but mine made her particularly nervous.  It ticked me off.  I don't know what she wanted me to do about it, short of chopping off his legs at the knees.  I told the super that I couldn't believe I'd been called to the school for this (and I don't think she knew what the purpose was until I got there) and she didn't know what to say to me.  I told the teacher it sounded like she was the one with the problem, and if my son made her that nervous, if bigger kids made her that nervous, maybe she should get some counseling.  That was last year and this year, my ds said she still acts spooky and nervous around him. 


Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)