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Teacher Says She Got Fired for Giving Zeros

Diane Tirado refused to follow the 'no zero' policy
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 25, 2018 4:32 PM CDT

(Newser) – Should students get something for nothing? Diane Tirado doesn't think so, and claims she got fired for it. The 52-year-old teacher says West Gate K-8 School in Port St. Lucie, Fla., let her go when she refused to give students a half-credit for handing in nothing, CBS 12 reports. She left students a message on a school 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. [heart] Mrs. Tirado." The 17-year teaching veteran says she'd given her 8th-grade US history class two weeks to finish an explorer notebook project, but several students didn't hand it in, per ABC Action News. That's when she learned about the school's "no zero" policy.

As the West Gate student/parent handbook explains in red lettering, "NO ZERO'S- LOWEST POSSIBLE GRADE IS 50%." So Tirado says she asked school officials what to do, and was told, "We give them a 50." And she said, "Oh, we don't. This is not kosher." But she was still fired Sept. 14 without cause, which the school can apparently do because Tirado had just started teaching there in July and was still in her probationary period, per the Orlando Sentinel. Meanwhile, students are writing supportive messages on a Facebook post showing her whiteboard message, and Tirado's opinions are getting a full airing in the media. "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 says. (Read more teacher stories.)

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