School District Agrees to a Settlement in Free-Speech Lawsuit Filed by the Teachers’ Union

Mar 18, 2011, 20:23 ET from Philadelphia Federation of Teachers

PHILADELPHIA, March 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers and School District of Philadelphia agreed late Friday afternoon to settle a First-Amendment lawsuit that the union filed against the District in U.S. District Court a week ago.

During a conference with Magistrate L. Felipe Resttrepo, the School District agreed to return Hope Moffett to Audenried High School effective Monday and reduce Ms. Moffett’s termination to a five-day suspension.

The PFT will proceed directly to expedited arbitration on the suspension because it does not agree that Ms. Moffett should have been subjected to any discipline.  

“This has been an extremely difficult experience for Hope Moffett, for her students and for all PFT members, who feared retaliation for speaking out on behalf of students and schools during a tumultuous period of change,” PFT President Jerry T. Jordan said.

“This settlement reinforces our belief that PFT members have the right to voice their concerns about workplace issues without threat of retribution or intimidation from their employer.

“PFT members are professionals, who care deeply about their students and the future of public education. With many fiscal, legislative and ideological challenges facing public education, it is imperative that educators have the ability to participate openly in any community dialogue on how to improve student outcomes for all Philadelphia children.”

SOURCE Philadelphia Federation of Teachers