Teacher with fear of younger-aged children files lawsuit
MARIEMONT, OH (FOX19) -
former Mariemont teacher is suing the district for discrimination.
Maria Waltherr-Willard, who taught
foreign language at Mariemont schools for 35 years, claims the district moved
her from the high school to the junior high, despite knowing that she allegedly
suffers from a phobia of younger-aged children.
She says what happened
to her is a form of discrimination.
On the flip side, the school district
says no positions were available at the high school to transfer her back there.
is no longer teaching for the school system.
She filed this lawsuit in June of 2012,
after she claims she was forced into medical retirement because of work place
a former teacher myself, I think it is ridiculous," said Carolyn Lunt, a
think we have to respect people's health issues, but she's in an interesting
line of work considering her condition," explained Dave MacDonald, who
works in Mariemont.
to court documents, Waltherr-Willard taught French and Spanish classes at the
high school level for 35 years.
her career she did teach some junior high classes.
1997, she alleged she was assigned to teach classes to students in elementary
school and the prospect of this caused her extreme anxiety.
same year, she made an agreement with the school that she would no longer be
expected to teach outside of the high school.
cannot see there would be that much difference between high school and middle
school," Lunt added. "Having taught all ages it really is pretty consistent.
an unspecified time during her career, Waltherr-Willard was diagnosed with specific
phobia and general anxiety disorder.
being transferred to the junior high school during the 2010-2011 school year,
she made a formal request to return to the high school. She said she was being
underutilized and teaching at the junior high would be a further detriment to
"Just looking at it you know, top
line kind of stuff, I'd say it's an interesting case and it sounds like an
uphill battle on her part."
contacted the Mariemont City Schools and Waltherr-Willards attorney and both
parties declined to comment while litigation is pending.