A Florida teacher recently said that she was fired for refusing to give her students credit for homework they never turned in, and it managed to reignite the heated debate about the education system in the U.S.
Diane Tirado, 52, is a social studies teacher, and she says that the situation disregarded the “No Zero” policy. West Gate K-8 School in Port St. Lucie, her former employer, had a different story.
Tirado says that she was not allowed to give anything lower than a 50. She asked her students to keep a journal in the same way a 15th-century explorer would for the first assignment of the semester, and they were required to take down notes about historical events and draw maps for two weeks. The teacher referred to it as an “explorer’s notebook”.
“I got called down to the principal’s office because parents were not happy with me. It was ruining my life for weeks.” – she said.
The teacher of 17-years says that it was during one such visit to the principal’s office that she learned about the “No Zero” policy.
However, after some of the students in her class didn’t hand out the homework in, she said that she didn’t think they deserved any credit.
“I’m used to kids not handing in work… but then chasing them until the report cards are in to make sure they make it up. But I don’t give a grade for nothing.”
She was fired on the 14th of September, only two months after she was hired by the school. According to her, there wasn’t any official cause mentioned in the letter from the principal, but she thinks she knows why.
“I loudly bucked the system. I refused to do their policy. I guess you would call that defiance.” – she adds.
A spokesperson of the school said:
“Ms. Tirado was released from her duties as an instructor because her performance was deemed sub-standard and her interactions with students, staff, and parents lacked professionalism and created a toxic culture on the school’s campus. During her brief time of employment at West Gate, the school fielded numerous student and parent complaints as well as concerns from colleagues. Based on new information shared with school administrators, an investigation of possible physical abuse is underway.”
According to the spokesperson, there isn’t a policy prohibiting teachers from giving students a ‘zero’ for missed assignments.
This is the scale published by West Gate:
A = 90 to 100
B = 80 to 89
C = 70-79
D = 60-69
F = 50-59
According to the school, a zero is noted on the scale for work not attempted or work that is incomplete.
Tirado, however, said that the policy outlined in the West Gate parent and student handbook states in bright red capital letters:
“NO ZERO’S – LOWEST POSSIBLE GRADE IS 50%,”
She even provided an image to The Post.
Lots of people were quick to share their opinions when her story went viral, including a lot of teachers. Check out the full story below, and tell us what you think about it in the comments!
Her story quickly went viral, and lots of people were quick to respond: