Teacher with fear of young children sues US district

Updated 19 January 2013
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Teacher with fear of young children sues US district

CINCINNATI: A former teacher is suing the US school district where she used to work, saying administrators discriminated against her because she has a rare phobia: A fear of young children. Maria Waltherr-Willard, 61, had been teaching Spanish and French to teenagers in Ohio since 1976. Waltherr-Willard, who does not have children of her own, was transferred to another school with younger students in 2009.
She says the younger students triggered her phobia, caused her blood pressure to soar and forced her to retire. Her lawsuit says her fear of young children falls under the federal American with Disabilities Act and that the district violated it by transferring her and not letting her go back to her former school. The lawsuit seeks unspecified monetary damages.
Gary Winters, the school district’s attorney, said Waltherr-Willard was transferred because the French program at her school was being turned into an online one and that the other school needed a Spanish teacher.


Thousands of birds die at California’s Salton Sea

In this file photo taken on April 15, 2014 Budgerigars are pictured at Pairi Daiza animal park in Brugelette, Belgium. (AFP)
Updated 23 January 2019
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Thousands of birds die at California’s Salton Sea

  • The 350-square-mile lake is located in the desert near the Mexican border

SALTON CITY, California: Authorities say thousands of migrating birds have died at California’s Salton Sea this month from avian cholera.
The California Department of Fish and Game says ducks, gulls and other birds were found dead at the south end of the state’s largest lake between Jan. 8 and last Thursday.
Testing showed signs of avian cholera, an infectious bacterial disease. It’s spread through direct contact or from contaminated food or water.
Wildlife officials say outbreaks occur annually as a result of birds flocking closely together during migration.
The 350-square-mile (560-square-kilometer) lake is located in the desert near the Mexican border. It’s a regular stop for migrating birds.