Education / Schools, Kids, Labor / Employment, Lawsuit of the Day

Lawsuit of the Day: Teacher Claims School Failed To Accommodate Her Pedophobia

Does teacher want to…. plaaaaaay?

Pedophobia, the fear of children, is not something that makes the news very much. It’s not like anybody who suffers from pedophobia gets to have a Facebook account unless they want to be bombarded with terrifying images of other people’s children.

Since we know that pedophilia is a real thing, I totally believe that pedophobia is a real thing. That makes sense.

But, just as I don’t want pedophiles teaching in schools, I’m not sure that a middle school is the best place for a pedophobe.

An Ohio teacher suffering from pedophobia agrees. She’s suing her former school district for failing to accommodate her disability by moving her from a high school to a middle school.

If she doesn’t win her employment discrimination case, maybe she’ll have a claim under the Eighth Amendment….

It’s easy to ridicule this lawsuit. Maria Waltherr-Willard is a school teacher who is clinically afraid of children. The somewhat obvious response is “don’t work IN A SCHOOL lady.”

But when you dig in a little bit, you see that Walterr-Willard is alleging that her former school district retaliated against her by moving her from a high school to a middle school. Yes, the teacher is saying essentially that her punishment was having to be around children… which is even more ridicu-funny. From the Huffington Post:

Waltherr-Willard, 61, claims in her lawsuit against the Mariemont school district that for 35 years, she taught Spanish and French to high school students in the system. But when she helped fight the district’s decision to cut French class in favor of an online course, officials retaliated by reassigning her to younger students at a middle school in 2009, ignoring her hypertension, specific phobia and general anxiety disorder, Waltherr-Willard says, according to Cincinnati.com…

Working with younger children at the middle school “adversely affected [Waltherr-Willard's] health, due to her disability,” the lawsuit claims, according to ABC News. Although she reportedly helped the younger students succeed in their foreign language endeavors, the move still increased her blood pressure to levels that placed her at risk for a stroke.

Finally, a teacher who can say “these kids are trying to kill me” who isn’t exaggerating.

Look, I sympathize with Waltherr-Willard, I really do. If she can prove that the school “retaliated” against her, then I hope she prevails. It’s not like the school district would be allowed to start putting frogs in the French teacher’s desk in order to get back at her for opposing a change in curriculum. But retaliation is hard to prove. And I’m not even sure that Waltherr-Willard has the strongest case here against the school district.

If I were a parent of a child at this middle school, and I found out that the district put a teacher who is clinically afraid of children in my child’s class, I’d be pretty pissed off. Honestly, who puts a hypertense person with an anxiety disorder in charge of a room full of screaming urchins? What if she flips out in the middle of the day and starts smacking the kids around? Or worse? Isn’t that a foreseeable outcome of putting a pedophobe in a kids’ classroom?

Maybe the best thing for everybody would have been to keep the lady who hates kids locked away in the high school.

Maria Waltherr-Willard Pedophobia: Ohio Teacher Sues School District For Discriminating Against Her Fear Of Children [Huffington Post]

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