A teacher in Florida said she was fired for refusing to give students a minimum 50 per cent credit on assignments they never completed.
Diane Tirado has been a teacher for over 17 years and began teaching Grade 8 at a school in Port St. Lucie since the start of the school year.
However, she said she was fired midway through September for not giving students a half credit, even though they didn’t complete their work.
“If there’s nothing to grade, how can I give somebody a 50 per cent?” Tirado told local CBS12 News.
The 52-year-old explained she had given her students two weeks to complete a project, with some of the students failing to hand the assignment in.
Tirado told WPTV News the school has what she called a “no-zero” policy, which is reflected in the school’s student and parent handbook.
“No zeros – lowest possible grade is 50 per cent” reads the handbook.
The teacher said she asked the administration department about how to handle grading for a student who doesn’t turn in their assignment.
“We give them a 50,” Tirado said of the conversation. “I go, ‘Oh, we don’t. This is not kosher.’”
Tirado was fired on Sept. 14, and was not provided a cause of termination in a letter she received from the principal. Apparently this was because she’s a new hire and on probation. The teacher was also unable to say goodbye to her students, so she left a note on a chalkboard to explain why she was no longer their teacher.
“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. Love Mrs. Tirado,” the note reads.
However, a spokesperson for the school district said there’s no district policy forbidding teachers from giving a zero grade.
“The District’s Uniform Grading System utilizes letter grades A-F, numerical grades 100-0 and grade point averages from 4-0,” the district said in the statement. “Some classroom teachers and school faculties have discussed the range of points for work submitted in each grading category. A zero is noted on the scale for work not attempted or work that is incomplete.”
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