Friday, January 18, 2013

Teacher Sues Because She's Scared of Kids - COTW #126

An Ohio teacher sued her employer because her phobia forced her to retire. What is she scared of? You guessed it (or just read the title): children. The Harrisburg Patriot News reports, Ohio teacher sues, claims firing over her phobia: fear of young children.

She taught Spanish and French in high school for about 33 years. Then, the school transferred her to middle school where the kids are smaller . . . and apparently scarier (to her at least):
She was "unable to control her blood pressure, which was so high at times that it posed a stroke risk," according to the lawsuit, which includes a statement from her doctor about her high blood pressure. "The mental anguish suffered by (Waltherr-Willard) is serious and of a nature that no reasonable person could be expected to endure the same."
The school claims it was just killing the high school French program (in favor of online courses), and my favorite defense argument of all time: "She wants money." Yeah, that's pretty much why people file lawsuits (I know, I know, there are a few exceptions). Of course, the school could probably settle the lawsuit, or have just kept paying her to teach French courses except that it didn't want to spend the . . . yup, money.

In any event, the case is headed to trial where I think the plaintiff faces an uphill battle. There's a strong, "gimme a break" factor to this one even if she really does have this phobia. We'll see though . . . .