PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — An eighth grade teacher in Florida claims she was fired because she disagrees with a school policy that states no students can receive a “zero” for failing to complete an assignment, according to WPTV.
Diane Tirado started at West Gate K-8 School in Port St. Lucie last month as a history teacher. After several students failed to complete an assignment, she learned about a rule in the student handbook that states:
“NO ZEROS – LOWEST POSSIBLE GRADE IS 50%”
In a farewell message, the teacher wrote on her whiteboard:
“Bye Kids, Mrs. Tirado loves you and wishes you the best in life! I have been fired for refusing to give you a 50% for not handing anything in.”
Kerry Padrick, a spokeswoman for St. Lucie Public Schools, issued a statement to WPTV that said Tirado was a “teacher on probationary status, and was terminated shortly after one month of classroom instruction.”
“There is no District or individual school policy prohibiting teachers from recording a grade of zero for work not turned in. The District’s Uniform Grading System utilizes letter grades A-F, numerical grades 100-0 and grade point averages from 4-0.”
While the grading scale does show the grade “0” for “incomplete, Tirado claims she was told to never give a student a “zero.” She now hopes this controversy will motivate school officials to change or clarify the policy.