Waltherr-Willard, a native of Cuba, immigrated to the United States in 1969 at the age of 18. She began working in the Mariemont school district in 1976 as a French and Spanish teacher.
As far back as 1997, the district requested that Waltherr-Willard teach Spanish enrichment classes to fourth, fifth and sixth graders. After she and her attorney raised objections, citing her condition, the school district agreed to allow her to teach only high school students.
In 2009, when it was rumored that the district would replace traditional French courses with online courses at the high school, Waltherr-Willard rallied support among parents, The Enquirer explains. District officials responded by reprimanding her.
In her current lawsuit, Waltherr-Willard alleges that her transfer to the local junior high school during the 2010-11 school year to teach Spanish to seventh and eighth graders was retaliation for her actions in 2009.
By January 2011, Waltherr-Willard’s lawsuit claims, her blood pressure was frequently reaching dangerously high levels. She asked, in writing, to teach at the high school again but this request was denied.
Waltherr-Willard retired in 2011. At the time, The Enquirer notes, she was making approximately $84,000 a year.
In July 2011, the retired teacher filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. After this complaint was dismissed in March 2012, she became eligible to sue the Mariemont school district, which she did in June.
Last week, a federal judge dismissed three of the six total claims in Waltherr-Willard’s lawsuit. District Judge Herman J. Weber ruled that the district acted properly under the contract between the school district and the teachers’ union. He added that Waltherr-Willard would still have her job if she had not retired.
The judge did not render a decision concerning the three remaining claims. The trial — if there is a trial — is scheduled for February 2014.