The Philadelphia School District is moving to fire Hope Moffett, the Audenried High teacher who has been an outspoken critic of the district's Renaissance Schools overhaul plan.
On Monday morning, Moffett received official documents notifying her that assistant superintendent Linda Cliatt-Wayman is recommending Moffett "be terminated of her service with the School District of Philadelphia."
She has been in a district "rubber room" for weeks pending a district investigation.
Moffett - whose classroom ouster and subsequent refusal to remain silent on the subject have generated wide support for her among teachers - has been charged with disclosing a document she had been directed not to discuss and allegedly endangering the welfare and safety of students.
The document was the letter ordering her removal from the classroom. Authorities say she endangered her students' welfare by giving an Audenried student leader tokens that were used to transport students to a Feb. 15 protest outside Philadelphia School District headquarters.
She was removed from her classroom and ordered to a basement administrative office - known as the "rubber room" among teachers - on Feb. 17.
Philadelphia Federation of Teachers president Jerry Jordan has defined the district's move to discipline Moffett as an "act of intimidation" and said the union would use any legal means within its power to defend teachers' right to free speech.
"I am outraged that the district has given Hope Moffett notice of their intent to terminate her," said Jordan. "The charges are ridiculous, and the PFT will fight to restore Hope to her teaching position and defend her for exercising her First Amendment rights."
Moffett, 25, a third-year English teacher at Audenried, had received strong performance evaluations before her removal. But she has also been an outspoken critic at public meetings of the district's Renaissance plan, which would turn Audenried over to Universal Companies Inc. as a charter school.
Under that plan, any employee who wanted to remain at the school would have to reapply for his or her job and would no longer be a district employee.
Moffett has said she's done nothing wrong.
Next, Moffett and a union representative will meet again with Cliatt-Wayman, whose recommendations will go to another district official, likely Associate Superintendent Penny Nixon, for review.
Moffett will remain in the rubber room until her case is resolved or she is fired.
Contact staff writer Kristen Graham at 215-854-5146 or firstname.lastname@example.org.