Florida Teacher Is Fired For Giving “Zero” Marks to Students Who Don’t Hand Over Their Works

What’s the point of gathering kids in a formal education center if they can’t be given proper academic discipline? It’s never been heard of that a public school would enforce a “no zero” policy on their teachers. Private schools, maybe, but not government elementary institutions. She may h...
What’s the point of gathering kids in a formal education center if they can’t be given proper academic discipline? It’s never been heard of that a public school would enforce a “no zero” policy on their teachers. Private schools, maybe, but not government elementary institutions.

She may have lost her job, but she didn’t lose her nobility.

In my humble opinion, the noblest profession in the world is teaching. It doesn’t matter whether it’s in a formal, semi-formal or informal setting: anyone who imparts knowledge in others is basically shaping the future of the universe.
In September 2018, 52-year-old Diane Tirado from Florida lost her job for giving zeros to students who earned it, but that didn’t wreck her spirit. Actually, she wished them nothing but the best and went on her way.

Diane has been teaching for 17 years now, and she recently got a job to teach eighth grade Social Studies at Westgate K-8 school in Port Lucie, Florida.

Westgate has a “no zero” policy, where the lowest score that can be awarded to a student is 50%. Even if the students have done absolutely nothing or refused to turn in any work, the lowest score they’ll be awarded is 50%. Diane inquired about this upon her employment and was merely instructed to comply with the stipulations.

Surprisingly, the school report sheet shows that a student can be awarded a grade ‘I’, which stands for ‘incomplete’ and has a score equivalent of zero. Right below the grade definitions, the report sheet reads:
Florida Teacher Is Fired For Giving “Zero” Marks to Students Who Don’t Hand Over Their Works

“*No zero’s. Lowest possible grade is 50%”

Head held high

Upon the instruction to complete their Explorer notebook project, many students didn’t turn in their work. It would have been a bit easier on the ears if they had turned in their projects without finishing everything. Unfortunately, several of them didn’t turn in anything at all. Diane gave them total zeros instead of the expected 50%.

Following reports on the incident, Diane was fired by the administration on September 14, 2018. As a brand new teacher who hadn’t spent up to a month in the school, she was still on probation when she was fired. This means that the school authority wasn’t bound to specify the reason for her termination in the sack letter. Seeking redress in court or taking it up with the Teachers’ Union is going to be Herculean under such circumstances.

Diane took to her Facebook page to share the heartwarming message she left for her kids on the whiteboard. It read:
Florida Teacher Is Fired For Giving “Zero” Marks to Students Who Don’t Hand Over Their Works

“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.”

A satisfied conscience

Speaking to CBS12 News, Diane says a grade in her class is earned, not collected.

“I’m so upset because we have a nation of kids that are expecting to get paid and live their lives just for showing up and it’s not real,” she said. “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. Teachers also provide numerous attempts to get the work collected so they can give a child a grade.”

She explains that despite teachers not being completely all-knowing and perfect, they give their kids the very best they can at all times.

“By nature, most teachers are loving souls who want to see students succeed,” she explained. “We do above and beyond actual teaching to give them the support they need. Are we perfect? NO. We make mistakes like all other human beings, but I know teachers work their butts off to help children to be the best people they can be!”

Posted on September 15, 2018, Diane’s picture of the message on the whiteboard has been liked 3,000 times, shared 3,500 times, and has garnered 736 comments.

A lot of the commenters supported her actions and sympathized with her over the loss of her job. They agreed that firing her was completely uncalled for and that the school’s policy is not in the best interest of the kids. One of such comments read:

“I am so sorry you got fired for doing your job correctly! I agree with You ZERO work equals a ZERO grade, NOT a 50%! You are also correct in saying “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.” It’s the same with giving out trophies just because a child participates in something.”