The teacher who feared young kids lost her ADA claim, you guys

I’m a bit late to the party with this one. But, for those who haven’t read about it elsewhere. Voila!

The plaintiff originally taught at the high school, during which she informed her employer about her pedophobia, a debilitating fear of young children. Some time later, the plaintiff was transferred to the middle school, which was ok because she only feared elementary school kids, and not middle schoolers. The plaintiff taught middle school for six months, but, then she asked for a transfer back to the high school, saying that her talents were “underutilized” at the middle school and that another year there would be bad for her health. The school district informed the plaintiff that there were no openings, but would keep her request on file. Shortly thereafter, the plaintiff retired.

She then sued the school district for age discrimination, disability discrimination, hostile work environment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and breach of contract.

And, yes, she lost.

About that disability discrimination claim

The plaintiff asked the district to accommodate her pedophobia by returning her to the high school from the middle school. Except, the high school had no openings, and the ADA does not require job creation — that’s not a reasonable accommodation.

Ok, so it’s not like she applied to trach elementary school, only to request an accommodation that no young kids be allowed in her classroom. That’d be like asking to take every Tuesday off to celebrate the Sabbath. But this case does serve as a reminder that accommodation requests under the ADA are not without limit.

Ultimately, the request must be reasonable.


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