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Philly superintendent moves to fire teacher for speaking against school closing

March 7, 2011 pm31 10:21 pm

Read full coverage at The Notebook.

Hope Moffett was removed from her Philadelphia classroom two weeks ago, on what looks like a pretext. Most observers connected the disciplinary action to Hope having spoken eloquently against closing Audenried High School.

The School District plans to terminate Hope Moffett, because she gave tokens to students that they used to leave class and attend a protest against the policies of Superintendent Arlene Ackerman, specifically, the planned conversion of their school to a charter under Universal Companies, Inc.

A letter sent to Moffett today by Assistant Superintendent for High Schools Linda Cliatt-Wayman recommends termination because she enabled students to leave school without parental permission, putting them in danger. Cliatt-Wayman said Moffett’s views opposing “the Renaissance initiative” had nothing to do with the recommendation and that she is “troubled” because Moffett still doesn’t acknowledge she put her students in danger.

Moffett reacted immediately.

“The idea that my personal beliefs regarding the takeover of Audenried High School are not relevant to the case against me is absurd. I stand by each and every choice I have made because I firmly believe that it is imperative that we as citizens stand up to corruption. Students, community members, and teachers cannot be denied a voice.”

The letter stated, in part:
“No matter how strong her beliefs, Ms. Moffett’s actions endangered the safety of the children she is charged with protecting.  The incident was unsatisfactory.”

It is a stunning development in a school system in which it is a rare event indeed for a teacher to be dismissed for any reason. …

By all accounts, Moffett, 25, has been a top-quality English teacher, a Teach for America alumna who decided to stay with her students as they progressed from 9th to 11th grade. Her case has garnered national attention.

Text of Philadelphia Federation of Teachers (PFT) president Jerry Jordan’s statement:

“I am outraged that the district has given Hope Moffett notice of their intent to terminate her. 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.”

One Comment leave one →
  1. March 10, 2011 pm31 6:33 pm 6:33 pm

    -Hope Stings Eternal-

    Little Miss Moffett
    Hang in there and tuff-it
    Ackerman fears the truth that you say
    Media coverage grows wider
    Public opinion will deride her
    Hope will frighten Queen Arleen away

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