In Port St. Lucie, Florida — a teacher claims she was fired for refusing to give students partial credit for work they did not turn in to her.
After multiple students did not hand in an Explorer Notebook project, eighth-grade history teacher Diane Tirado at West Gate K-8 School gave the students a zero for the grade according to WPTV.
She was let go apparently due to the school’s no-zero policy that was supposedly included in the student and parent handbook, according to Tirado.
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“But what if they don’t turn it in, and they say we’ll give them a 50. Oh, no, we don’t,” Tirado shared with WPTV.
Tirado was terminated from her position on Sept. 14 despite being in her probationary period though, there was no clause mentioned in the letter from the principal.
A chief information officer for West Gate said the following in a statement, according to WPTV.
“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 to zero and grade point averages from four to zero.”
But Tirado says she was never told to give a student a zero.
“I’m so upset, because we have a nation of kids that are expecting to get paid and live their life just for showing up, and it’s not real,” the teacher said.
On the teacher’s last day, she posted to Facebook — with a message she had written on her whiteboard to students.
The post reads:
“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.”
The posting has over 2.8K shares on Facebook as of this week.
Tirado hopes that sharing her story will force the school to alter its policy of not handing out zeros. In another post to Facebook, Diane shares:
“Good morning! It is around 3 am and I cannot sleep. Thoughts of the last few days will not leave my brain. I feel relieved that I have gotten the word out about a very bad grading policy that most people highly disagree with also, but it is time for the next step of the fight.”
And according to a picture on Diane’s Facebook, it seems that her fight has made it behind the news desk — specifically, an interview on a local news station about school’s policies.
To stand with Diane, Diane encourages all parents to organize, reach out to their school districts and speak out about the unfair grading policies, saying:
“Your voices will be the ones to create policy change. This fight is too big for only one person. I need your help! Help me to bring back sanity to our schools. Our children will be better human beings for it. Thank you for all the support you have given me. You have made me proud of myself.”
Go, Diane, go! You make us proud.
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