Teacher sues because she has a fear of young kids

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Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 2226
Teacher sues because she has a fear of young kids

Teacher with fear of young kids sues Ohio district

Do you think she has a legitimate case?

(I'm not debating the fear. We all have fears and they are our own. I'll let her have hers.)

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3309

I think its crazy. If her position was eliminated at the high school...they could transfer her, or let her go.

I don't see how they should be forced to keep her position at the high school.

Are there rules around laying teachers off? I'm really asking because i don't know

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3183

Um...if you have a fear of young kids then don't become a teacher. Why would you go into a field where you are automatically limited in terms of what you are willing to do? Most teachers I know don't get first pick of the grade they are interested in.

I think the whole story is just weird.

smsturner's picture
Joined: 05/11/09
Posts: 1303

Our contracts specifically state that if enrollment in certain classes goes below a certain number for a certain amount of years we can discontinue the class and then they would be let go.

I think it sounds like nonsense. The biggest problem I have with the claim is that all of the seventh and eighth graders I know are taller than me and hardly are *young* children. Young children is like 5 year olds compared to high school. I seriously just don't think that the kids ability to trigger a fear like that would magically disappear over that summer between eighth and ninth grade.

The cynic in me wins this one and says that she just hates her new placement and quit, then found that she needs the income.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3309

"smsturner" wrote:

Our contracts specifically state that if enrollment in certain classes goes below a certain number for a certain amount of years we can discontinue the class and then they would be let go.

I think it sounds like nonsense. The biggest problem I have with the claim is that all of the seventh and eighth graders I know are taller than me and hardly are *young* children. Young children is like 5 year olds compared to high school. I seriously just don't think that the kids ability to trigger a fear like that would magically disappear over that summer between eighth and ninth grade.

The cynic in me wins this one and says that she just hates her new placement and quit, then found that she needs the income.

In this case her enrollment wasn't low. They are switching the French program to an online program. Wonder if that make a difference? Seems you should be allowed to do that though.

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 2226

I don't think she has a case. For one, what is the difference between 12/13 year olds and a high school freshman? Of course there are some maturity issues but typically it is about the same..no? I was only slightly different at 14 than 13.

But I agree, sometimes your position is eliminated and I think she was lucky to be given the option.

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 2226

The only thing on the grade level I'll give her is that usually it is specific to your degree. Secondary education can vary...like when I went for my Spanish degree that was my major and secondary ed was my minor which is typical. I would have been certified for 5-12. However if you do Math and secondary education (at least in Mass.) you are certified 5-8 or 9-12 and that is it. We can't teach in an elementary setting.

Obviously, the school district would know if she was certified or not so she knew it could happen. Just like I would have preferred to teach HS Spanish but could have been moved to a lower grade.

Joined: 05/23/12
Posts: 680

I really think it's a ridiculous lawsuit. I don't see middle school aged kids as being young. To me, young is elementary aged kids and that's about it, not middle school aged. Regardless, she apparently has issues with these ages too. They could have just let her go. I just can't fathom how we entertain these lawsuits!

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6560

If you have a true phobia of kids, then teaching is probably not the best job for you. I can see having a preference of either High School, Middle School, or Elementary. DH would rather be working in Middle School, but is in High School right now. If they put him in Elementary school he would probably ask to switch, but would accept it if they said no.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

It may work differently in OH, but here is how it works in CO:

DH's teaching certification allows him to teach middle school or high school. Elementary education is a separate license. If they are eliminating a position for a tenured teacher, the district has to offer that teacher a position within the district. BUT, it could be that a middle school teacher has to go to a high school or a high school teacher has to go to a middle school, since their certification allows them to teach both. They aren't guaranteed a job at the same educational level, they are just guaranteed a job that they are certified for. At that point, the teacher has an option; they can either go where the opening is, or they can quit. It sounds to me like the district did what they were obligated to do (find her another position within the district) and then at that point the onus was on her to decide if it would be a good fit or not. If not, it's on her to quit. On a side note, who gets certified as a teacher if they are afraid of children? Seems extremely off to me.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4099

She's been teaching since 1976 and the article says she's been treated for her phobia since 1991. I can accept that. I think a lot of people can change over the course of 15 years, and someone who loves teaching teenagers might not be able to handle little kids. I know a couple of "spinster aunts" of mine who were the same way. But I don't accept that middle schoolers are so much "younger" than high schoolers that she requires special accomodations that she didn't have at the high school. Personally, seeing her photo, I'd be willing to bet that her weight alone could explain her blood pressure soaring; her general anxiety disorder might be part of the problem, too. The district did nothing wrong in offering her the transfer. Ridiculous lawsuit, throw it out.

Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1683

There is a big difference between elementary, middle, and high school students. Yes, one year can make that much difference; if it didn't, parents wouldn't "red-shirt" their children. I can totally understand her anxiety issues being at the middle school level. The bulk of her day is spent with 12 & 13 YO instead of 14 - 19 YO. +/- a year.

That said, part of her problem is that she was employed by such a small district. Eliminating her position leaves few options for her. *If* she is credentialed to teach other subjects, they could have accommodated her by moving her to a different subject at the high school. If not, well...what else could they do? Then again, perhaps her position was eliminated because she had taught for 33 years and they were trying to force her to retire.

Joined: 05/23/12
Posts: 680

Look if kids are getting condoms in middle schools, they are not young kids anymore.

And EW how many parents red shirt?

Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1683

"myyams" wrote:

Look if kids are getting condoms in middle schools, they are not young kids anymore.

Is that your litmus test?

And EW how many parents red shirt?

Not sure why it matters how many red shirt. The purpose of red-shirting is because 1 year can make a difference.

ftmom's picture
Joined: 09/04/06
Posts: 1538

Am I the only one who doesnt know what red-shirting is? Could you please explain?

Joined: 05/23/12
Posts: 680

I would not say that, but when I think of young kids, needing condoms does not enter my mind. Middle school age kids are entering puberty, so they are not really young as such.

I asked about red shirting because in some areas, it seems to be very common. So if it was common in her school, she would be dealing with kids even a year older anyway.

"ethanwinfield" wrote:

Is that your litmus test?

Not sure why it matters how many red shirt. The purpose of red-shirting is because 1 year can make a difference.

Joined: 05/23/12
Posts: 680

"ftmom" wrote:

Am I the only one who doesnt know what red-shirting is? Could you please explain?

Kyla, the term is used when parents start their kids off in school later, hoping they will get ahead in sports or academics.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6560

"ftmom" wrote:

Am I the only one who doesnt know what red-shirting is? Could you please explain?

I had to Google it. Once I saw the definition I remembered more about it.

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