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Florida teacher says she was fired for refusing to give students partial credit on an assignment they didn't turn in

A teacher in Port St. Lucie, Fla., says that she was fired for refusing to give students partial credit for work they did not turn in to her.

According to WPTV, after many students didn’t hand in an Explorer Notebook project, Diana Tirado, an eighth-grade history teacher at West Gate K-8 School, gave them a zero for a grade. According to Tirado, she was let go because of the school’s no-zero policy, allegedly included in the student and parent handbook.

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

Tirado, who was still in her probationary period, was terminated from her position on Sept. 14. However, no clause was mentioned in the letter from the principal.

According to WFTV, a chief information officer for West Gate said in a statement: “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.”

Tirado, who says, “Teaching is a calling for me,” claims she was told never 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 Tirado’s last day, she wrote a message on her whiteboard to the students and posted it on Facebook.

“Bye kids,” she wrote. “Mrs. Tirado loves you and wishes you the best in life!”

Ultimately, Tirado hopes the school will change its alleged policy of not handing out zeros. She wrote in a Facebook post on Tuesday, “The reason I took on this fight was because it was ridiculous. Teaching should not be this hard. Teachers teach content, children do the assignments to the best of their ability and teachers grade that work based on a grading scale that has been around a very long time.”

West Gate administrators did not immediately respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s requests for comment.

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