Florida teacher says she was fired for giving zeros to students who didn’t turn in work

Florida teacher says she was fired for giving zeros to students who didn’t turn in work
Diane Tirado was terminated on Sept. 14. She said she doesn’t regret her decision. (Source: WPTV/CNN)

PORT ST. LUCIE, FL (WPTV/CNN) - Should students get credit for work not handed in?

School teacher fired after not giving zeros on assignment

One Florida teacher said no and took a stand.

Now she’s been fired for that move.

Diane Tirado doesn’t regret her action.

“Years of teaching I have so much stuff,” said Tirado. “Teaching is a calling for me.”

Motivation and inspiration, that’s what Tirado strives to provide her students as a longtime teacher.

So she thought the same when she started teaching eighth grade history at West Gate in Port St. Lucie, FL, last month.

"I had some good fun decorating my room," she said.

But then she assigned an explorer notebook project.

″This is why I gave weeks for," Tirado said.

When so many students didn't turn it in she, found out about what she says is the school's “no zero policy.”

The lowest grade a student at the school can receive is 50 percent.

“But what if they don’t turn it in, and they say we’ll give them a 50? Oh no we don’t,” Tirado said.

"You don't know what's going on at home is what you see is one level. Because if my son blatantly chooses not to do it he knows he's got an issue right there right," said one parent.

Tirado was terminated on Sept. 14 but there's no clause mentioned in the letter from the principal since she was still in her probationary period.

On her last day, she wrote a message to students on her whiteboard saying she would miss them and why she got fired.

She also shared the picture through a class app to which her students responded.

"You are right about not giving people 50s," one student responded.

And then she posted it on Facebook.

The photo has been shared more than 400 times.

A grade in Miss Tirado’s class is earned.

Tirado hopes this time she motivates policy change.

“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,” she said.

“There is no district or individual school policy prohibiting teachers from recording a grade of zero for work not turned in," The chief information officer for the school said in a statement. "The district’s uniform grading system utilizes letter grades A to F, numerical grades 100 to zero and grade point averages from four to zero.”

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