By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia school district has changed its mind about firing a teacher who let students leave school to protest the school’s conversion to a charter. The teacher is returning to work Monday after three weeks in a so-called “rubber room.”

School officials exiled Auden Reid High School teacher Hope Moffett because they said letting students walk out in protest endangered their safety. But Moffett and the teachers union fought back, claiming the district was trying to intimidate teachers who oppose plans to turn public schools over to private charter companies.

Teachers union president Jerry Jordan says he’s pleased the district is sending Moffett back to the classroom. (see related story)

Schools spokesperson Jamilla Fraser says the district still intends to seek a five day suspension.

Hope Moffett acknowledged that she didn’t notify the principal that the students planned to leave the school building even though no parental permission had been submitted to the school, Jordan says Moffett did nothing wrong and they’ll fight the suspension.

Reported by Pat Loeb, KYW Newsradio

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