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.


58 Australian fairy penguins slaughtered in suspected dog attack

Updated 17 October 2018
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58 Australian fairy penguins slaughtered in suspected dog attack

  • The grisly find comes just months after a dozen birds were found dead on a nearby beach, also in an alleged dog attack

SYDNEY: Wildlife officials in the southern Australia on Wednesday announced an investigation into the mass death of 58 penguins they believe were killed in a dog attack.
The carcases of the fairy penguins — the world’s smallest penguin species — were found strewn across a beach in Tasmania, a island-state off the mainland.
“We would like to remind dog owners of the need to take responsibility for their animals at all times as dogs have the capacity to do a lot of damage to penguin colonies in a short period of time,” Tasmania’s department of parks, water and environment said in a statement.
The latest grisly find comes just months after a dozen birds were found dead on a nearby beach, they too are believed to have been killed in a dog attack.
“All reports of alleged unlawful harming of wildlife are regarded extremely seriously by the department,” the government department said.
Fairy penguins — who grow to around just over a foot (30 centimeters) and can live for up to 24 years — are only found in southern Australia and New Zealand, with Tasmania supporting around half of the global population.
Fairy penguin colonies remain under threat from increasing urbanization, traffic and domestic animals.