School teacher claims discrimination for fear of children

Maria C. Waltherr-Willard
Maria C. Waltherr-Willard
An Ohio school teacher resigned from her position and is now suing the school board for discriminating against her due to her extreme fear of children, according to an exclusive report.

Maria C. Waltherr-Willard, 61, who has taught Spanish and French for 35 years, now claims the Mariemont school district discriminated against her when they reassigned her from high school to junior high school classes, with knowledge that she suffers from pedophobia, a fear of young children.

Denise Smith Amos wrote in that according to her and her health care providers, “she experiences stress, anxiety, chest pains, vomiting, nightmares and higher than healthy blood pressure when she’s around young children.”

I can’t dispute her condition, but I find her “I can’t do my job, but you should pay me to do it anyway” claim just another one in a long line of frivolous claims that juries somehow find both logical and actionable.

It’s right up there with the diminished capacity “Twinkie defense” that helped Dan White avoid a double murder rap in his 1979 San Francisco homicide trial.

It’s just as asinine as the 1994 product liability lawsuit where a jury awarded Stella Liebeck $160,000 in compensatory damages and $2.7 million in punitive damages because McDonald’s served her coffee that was too hot.

It’s no wonder people hate lawyers.

Charles Dickens wrote in Oliver Twist, “If the law supposes that, the law is an ass – an idiot”.

Shakespeare was a bit more direct. “The first thing we do,” wrote the bard in Henry VI, is “kill all the lawyers.”

People have hated lawyers for a good, long time.

Four months after Waltherr-Willard retired from her teaching position, she filed an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint, which the commission eventually dismissed.

She then filed a six-claim complaint in federal district court. On Wednesday, the judge assigned to her case dismissed three of those claims, all of which allege that the school district violated an implied contract to keep the plaintiff away from young children.

Maybe there’s hope for civilization yet.

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