Teacher With Fear of Kids Fighting Forced Retirement
Language teacher Maria C. Waltherr-Willard suffers from pedophobia, which means she is afraid of kids. Yes, a teacher who teaches kids is afraid of kids. When the 61-year-old is in the presence of kids, she experiences symptoms which include anxiety, chest pains, and vomiting.
Given her unusual affliction, her Cincinnati school district assigned her to high school, because older children don’t cause such extreme reactions. Everything was going great until 2009 when Waltherr-Willard started to complain about the district’s plans to replace their traditional French classes with an online course. According to Waltherr-Willard, the district punished her by assigning her to teach junior high school, where her pedophobia kicked in.
Due to the stress of being surrounded by young faces, her blood pressure became dangerously elevated and she was forced to retire. Now she is suing the Mariemont School District for discriminating against her based on age, gender, and her phobia.
So far a Federal judge has thrown out three of Wlatherr-Willard’s accusations and will hear another three in 2014.
What do you think? Does the teacher have a point, assuming a judge finds that the school district was being punitive when they forced her into a class with 11-year-olds — or do you think her decision to become a teacher would be the same as somebody with a fear of dogs becoming a veterinarian?