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Pedophobic Teacher Loses Disability Bias Case

John Concannon

Maria Waltherr-Willard was a successful foreign language teacher in the Mariemont City School District for many years.  In 1997, the district asked her to teach at the elementary school.  She submitted proof that she suffered from pedophobia, a fear of young children.  The district had an independent evaluation done which confirmed pedophobia and she remained in the high school position.
In 2009, the district moved its French classes on on-line instruction.  Upon this change there was no suitable position for Ms. Waltherr-Willard at the high school and she was moved to the middle school without initial objection.  Six months later she sought to return to the high school.  She was told that there were no suitable positions and she retired.
Ms. Waltherr-Willard then sued the district alleging violations of age discrimination in employment act of 1967 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
Summary Judgment was granted in favor of the district on February 11, 2015 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th circuit affirmed that decision.
The age discrimination claim failed because the teacher retained at the high school to teach Spanish was only two years younger and that is not substantial.
Ms. Waltherr-Willard’s pedophobia based disability claim was denied because although the ADA requires accommodation of an employee, creating a new position at the high school for her or displacing the existing Spanish Teacher was not required.  See attached case.

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