Much has been said in defense of participation trophies. An entire generation of American kids have been taught that simply participating is enough to warrant a celebration. But what about those kids who don’t participate at all? Do they deserve credit for doing nothing? One teacher didn’t think so, and now she’s been fired.
Diane Tirado says she was fired because she refused to give half-credit, a full 50%, to students who did not turn in their homework. Tirado, a history teacher from West Gate School in Port St. Lucie, Florida, claims she was fired when she made her stance clear. Tirado gave students who turned in nothing the numerical equivalent for a grade: 0%.
Her school, she claims, had instituted a policy. If the students don’t turn in their homework, they still received a 50% marking.
After she was fired, Tirado wrote her students one last message on the white board in her classroom: “Bye kids. Mrs. Tirado loves you and wishes young the best in life! I have been fired for refusing to give you a 50% for not handing anything in. [Love] Mrs Tirado.”
“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,” Tirado told reporters.
“The reason I took on this fight was because it was ridiculous,” she later explained on social media. “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. By nature, most teachers are loving souls who want to see students succeed.”
“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!!!”
West Gate has not commented on Tirado’s dismissal.
Port St. Lucie Public Schools have made a statement. There is no district-wide policy that prevents teachers from giving zero credit when it is deserved.
“The West Gate student and parent handbook contains a grading rubric that includes the line, written in red all-caps: ‘NO ZERO’S-LOWEST POSSIBLE GRADE IS 50%’,” Daily Mail reports.