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Teacher cites fear of kids in lawsuit

Published On: Jan 30 2013 03:02:09 PM CST   Updated On: Jan 15 2013 01:27:23 PM CST
Maria Waltherr Willard

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A teacher in Ohio is suing her school district, claiming she was discriminated against because of her fear of young children.

That's right. A teacher who is scared of kids.

Maria C. Waltherr-Willard taught French and Spanish to high school students in the Mariemont school district for 35 years before she was reassigned to a middle school in 2009, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.

She claims the reassignment was crafted as a way to get her out of the school district.

Waltherr-Willard, 61, has been diagnosed with general anxiety disorder and a history of hypertension, with a specific phobia of severe anxiety around young children, ABC News reported.

In the lawsuit, she claims the school district knew of her phobia and had received medical documentation of her need to remain teaching at the high school level.

Waltherr-Willard stuck it out for a while, but eventually retired at age 59 in June 2011. She filed the lawsuit last year.

Waltherr-Willard is seeking past and future pay, compensatory damages, punitive damages and attorneys' fees.

The school district has declined to comment.

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