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Teacher claims she was fired over ‘no zeros’ grading policy

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 Padricka 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.