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Philadelphia Teachers’ Union Asks Court To Block Firing Of ‘Rubber Room’ Teacher

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(Audenried High School teacher Hope Moffett. File photo by Mike DeNardo)

(Audenried High School teacher Hope Moffett. File photo by Mike DeNardo)

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - The union that represents Philadelphia public school teachers is going to court to try to block the firing of an outspoken teacher.

The School District of Philadelphia wants to fire teacher Hope Moffett, the Audenried High School teacher who has spoken out against plans to convert her school to a charter school (see previous story).  The district says she endangered students by encouraging a student walkout in protest (see related story).

But the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers sees it as free speech being stifled, and they’ve gone to federal court to try to block the district from firing Moffett.

“We’re going to be filing for injunctive relief on behalf of all of the members of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers and their right to be able to speak without fear of retaliation or any kind of intimidation,” said PFT president Jerry Jordan.

Moffett has been banished from her classroom for nearly three weeks, held in an administrative room (nicknamed “the rubber room” by critics) while the district — and now, perhaps, a court — decides her fate.

Late Thursday, the school district announced that it would not fire Moffett before the court had ruled on the injunction request.

Reported by Mike DeNardo, KYW Newsradio 1060.

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