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.


Europe, Japan send spacecraft on 7-year journey to Mercury

Updated 20 October 2018
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Europe, Japan send spacecraft on 7-year journey to Mercury

  • Once the spacecraft arrives in late 2025, it will release two probes that will independently investigate the planet

TOKYO: European and Japanese space agencies say an Ariane 5 rocket has successfully lifted a spacecraft into orbit for a joint mission to Mercury, the closest planet to the sun.
The European Space Agency and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency say the BepiColombo spacecraft successfully separated and was sent into orbit from French Guiana early Saturday to begin a seven-year journey to Mercury.
The mission is complicated by the intense gravity pull of the sun, forcing the spacecraft to take an elliptical path that involves two fly-bys of Venus and six of Mercury itself.
Once the spacecraft arrives in late 2025, it will release two probes that will independently investigate the surface and magnetic field of Mercury.