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  #21  
Old 16 January 2013, 05:54 PM
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She doesn't have to be being punished by them to get disability accommodation.
I'm not sure I understand what you mean.
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  #22  
Old 16 January 2013, 06:02 PM
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You seemed to post that whether or not she was being punished from the admin's point of view had some bearing on the case. I don't think it does.
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  #23  
Old 16 January 2013, 06:04 PM
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Well, it looks like that is one of her claims. It sounds like there's an age discrimination claim, a retaliation claim* (that she was transferred to the Jr. High after getting parents up in arms about foreign languages being turned into an online course), and an ADA claim.

* I don't think this is a whistle-blower type claim. It's probably just part of the other two claims, asserting that whatever they claim is their legitimate reason for transferring her is just a pretext for the fact that they deliberately put her in the new position to punish her, knowing of her phobia.
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  #24  
Old 16 January 2013, 06:20 PM
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Yes, but I don't think that has bearing on whether or not she should be accommodated. It might make damages heavier, perhaps.
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  #25  
Old 16 January 2013, 06:43 PM
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As several people have already stated, in most states Secondary Certification qualifies you to teach 7th-12th grade.

I don't understand some of the comments stating that if you get certified in foreign languages it's a logical assumption that you'd never have to teach anything but high school. Every single school district I've been exposed to in the past thirty years teaches foreign languages in middle school. Obviously the district she worked in did, and she knew that, otherwise she never would have asked for reassurances earlier in her career that she'd never have to teach there.

In many districts the teachers don't always have any control over where they end up being placed. Yes, someone told this teacher she'd never have to teacher younger grades, but I assume she never got it in writing, nor was she likely to, unless she pressed the ADA issue, which it doesn't sound like she did at the time. And, no, teaching at the school for decades does not mean that you're safe from these kind of things. I've Known several teachers with decades of tenure in their districts that got totally screwed in a similar manner and they really had no recourse. I've also know several teachers that moved from middle to high school and vice versa.

Having suffered from a debilitating phobia myself, I understand as well as anybody that phobias aren't rational. So I completely accept that if the teacher says she cannot do her job around 12 yr olds, then she can't do her job around 12 yr olds, regardless of whether that constitutes a "young child". But she did consciously choose to get a teaching certification that qualified her to teach middle schoolers, and she had to have known that in any district where foreign languages were taught at that level (which is most) that it was a possibility she could get moved there. It wasn't unreasonable to anticipate that this might happen.

FWIW, none of what I wrote means I don't think she has a valid complaint against the district. Not if she has a documented medical condition. I just think it's an unusual career choice given the circumstances.
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  #26  
Old 16 January 2013, 07:25 PM
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I am not arguing whether there is some question here about the accommodation for her disability. Nor am I questioning whether this is a true disability. I am questioning her decision to go into a field that potentially exposes her to her stressor on a daily, hourly and minute-by-minute basis.

Once she's was in that field, clearly some accommodation was due her. Without knowing what was tried before she was placed in the middle school, I have no opinion on whether placement in the middle school violated that need for accommodation. Her employer is not required to grant her the specific accommodation she requested, especially if they offered her other options and she declined them--it is impossible to tell from the article cited by the O.P. whether that happened.

Seaboe
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  #27  
Old 16 January 2013, 07:35 PM
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I became a lawyer despite the fact that there are many law jobs that would be terrible for me, and I would be terrible at. My last employer could have theoretically have transferred me into one of those positions. But there was no reason to think they would choose to put me in one of those positions because I would be unsuited to it. I chose a job that I was particularly suited to. I don't think it's unreasonable to choose a niche that suits you. It's not like she applied for the Jr. high job and then said she should be accommodated by just teaching the older students or something. She obviously could handle teaching high school, and that is the job she sought and obtained. Having a problem with being transferred into a completely different job doesn't seem questionable to me at all.
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  #28  
Old 16 January 2013, 07:48 PM
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It isn't a completely different job though. It would be if they were moving her into an elementary school or were expecting her to teach a different subject. I do think she took a risk in choosing to go into teaching when she fears children. Even teaching high school couldn't guarantee she'd never come into contact with younger children, and if, as in her case her definition of younger children includes young teens then she took an even bigger risk when she qualified to teach this age group.
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  #29  
Old 16 January 2013, 07:58 PM
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That's probably why she asked for an assurance that she wouldn't have to.
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  #30  
Old 16 January 2013, 08:01 PM
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And while it's not unheard of for teachers to move from one level to another, it's very common for a teacher to work at the same level throughout hir career.
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  #31  
Old 16 January 2013, 08:07 PM
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It isn't a completely different job though. It would be if they were moving her into an elementary school or were expecting her to teach a different subject.
I would say it's a completely different job. 7th graders are completely different from even 8th graders and completely different from high school students.

One year of middle school/junior high school experience and developmental growth is huge at this age.

I currently teach 7th graders and 9th graders (this semester). The differences are extreme. I personally love having the variety, but the way I teach and what I teach are totally different with the two groups.
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  #32  
Old 16 January 2013, 08:44 PM
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I would say it's a completely different job. 7th graders are completely different from even 8th graders and completely different from high school students.
I accept that one teaches differently depending on the grade level but that doesn't change that it seems that in order to qualify to teach senior high school one must also qualify to teach junior high school. And really that's my main point, I can understand that she prefered (obviously) to teach only at the upper level but she must have known that her career choice did open her up to the possibility that she might one day be expected to teach junior high.
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  #33  
Old 16 January 2013, 08:49 PM
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Again, hence her request for assurance.
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  #34  
Old 16 January 2013, 08:50 PM
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Just as "being a lawyer" qualifies one to practice law in any number of jobs in the legal field, but every one of the lawyers I know isn't suited to actually practicing in every single job in the legal field. Just because you hold a credential doesn't mean you have to be prepared or willing to perform every job it qualifies you to do.
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  #35  
Old 16 January 2013, 08:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sue View Post
Do people generally think of junior high age students as "young children"?
I personally think of them as creatures from The Black Lagoon.

In other words, I agree that teaching high school and teaching junior high are two totally different things. I also don't see why a high school teacher would be any more likely than the general run of mankind to be exposed to younger kids.
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  #36  
Old 16 January 2013, 09:11 PM
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Foreign language starts in pre-school in many(most?) places, but I do not see what that has to do with her. She purposefully pursued certification that would exclude her from teaching very young children, AND secured assurance that she would not be placed in a position of teaching borderline pre-teens. Why should she have to change the course of her career to exclude her field of expertise/desired field when she took the necessary precautions to ensure a the best path forward?

I love to read, but I would not just be able to become a successful author(as my writing skills suck ), just to avoid some trigger in my chosen field. It doesn't work that way. Writers are writers for a reason, scientists are scientists for a reason, mathematicians are mathematicians for a reason, and language teachers are language teachers for a reason. It's not as interchangeable as just deciding to pursue a different certification. Or it shouldn't be! All that would accomplish is a lot of incompetent and uninterested teachers.
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  #37  
Old 16 January 2013, 09:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Esprise Me View Post

In other words, I agree that teaching high school and teaching junior high are two totally different things.
At least according to the body that certifies teachers that isn't actually true as the certification is for both levels.

Quote:
I also don't see why a high school teacher would be any more likely than the general run of mankind to be exposed to younger kids.
Again it really does depend on how one defines "younger kids". I wonder how she handled baby-faced 14 year olds.
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  #38  
Old 16 January 2013, 09:27 PM
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So being a prosecutor is the exact same job as being a corporate HR advice lawyer, just because the required credential is the same?
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  #39  
Old 16 January 2013, 09:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sue View Post
At least according to the body that certifies teachers that isn't actually true as the certification is for both levels.
According to the body that certifies lawyers, there's no difference between criminal defense and corporate transactional law, since passing the bar exam qualifies you to do both. But would you be OK with having your attorney be some pencil-pusher who'd never set foot in a courtroom if you were on trial for murder? Especially if s/he'd taken the job after being promised s/he'd never have to go to trial or work on a criminal case, because his/her parents were murdered and the whole process causes PTSD flashbacks?
ETA: Erwins, I think that spanking constitutes assault. Is that within your area of expertise?
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  #40  
Old 16 January 2013, 09:29 PM
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http://www.freep.com/article/2013011...-of-young-kids

Article with a lot more information. Some of which directly contradicts information given in other articles.
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