She only wanted what was best for her students and couldn’t stomach giving 50% when they didn’t even submit anything. But when she gave them a zero, she immediately got fired!
Diana Tirado, a former teacher at West Gate K-8 School in Port St. Lucie, Florida, got fired after she gave her students a zero for not submitting their homework.
As a teacher, this injustice wasn’t something Diana could stand behind.
Her Professionalism in Question
During an interview with WPTV, a local news outlet, Diana explained that she was hired in the summer of 2018 to teach eighth-grade students social studies.
Tirado has been a teacher for 17 years, with experience in different grade levels and online and in-person classes.
What the Policy Says
She was only in her first year of teaching at West Gate when she was fired for ignoring the school’s “No Zero” policy. The policy was outlined in the student and parent handbook, which says, “No zeroes—lowest possible grade is 50%.”
Fired for Doing Her Job
Diana only learned about the said policy after some of her students didn’t hand in their assignments. Since she gave them two weeks to accomplish the said homework, Diana refused to be lenient with them.
Sadly, upon giving them zeroes, the school immediately decided to terminate her.
A Farewell Message
After the incident, Diana posted a photo on Facebook, showing a message for her students on the whiteboard. She wrote this on her last day of teaching in September 2018, just two months after she was hired.
The message said, “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.” She then signed it with a heart followed by her name.
She Only Did What Was Right!
Despite facing severe consequences for not following the school’s policy, Diana defended her actions, saying she refused to let her students off that easily because that’s not why they attend school every day.
She said, “What if they don’t turn anything in? ‘We give them a 50.’ I go, ‘Oh, we don’t.’ I’m so upset because we have a nation of kids expecting to get paid and live their lives just for showing up, and it’s not real.”
No Acceptable Reason
Diana mentioned in an interview with the NY Post that she was called to the principal’s office after they found out she didn’t give her students 50% for not turning in their assignments. But when she received her termination letter, there was no official cause mentioning why she was being fired.
However, Diana was pretty sure of the school’s actual reason. She added, “I loudly bucked the system. I refused to do their policy. I guess you would call that defiance.”
A Flawed System
Diana also openly expressed her disagreement with the school system and said that she took on this fight because it was “ridiculous.”
She wrote, “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.”
Teaching Is a Calling
Additionally, she stated that teachers provide several attempts to collect their students’ work so they could give them a grade. According to her, by nature, most teachers are “loving souls” who only want to see their students succeed.
She added, “We go 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 b**** off to help children be the best people they can be!”
The Administration’s Side
On the other hand, the school district gave a statement to WPTV denying they had fired Diana over the grading policy, instead claiming that she was fired for her “performance.”
The school said, “She was released from her duties as an instructor because her performance was deemed substandard and her interactions with students, staff, and parents lacked professionalism and created a toxic culture on the school’s campus.”
What the Community Thinks
The online community was absolutely enraged with what happened to Diana. They even said that the school’s standards should not be lowered but instead raised.
A commenter said, “Why do school officials always want to lower expectations? They should be raised, not lowered. Make them low, and many students will go even lower. Raise them, and you help build a child toward success in life. You give them a goal. It’s tragic that our government gives out money based on completely false numbers.”
The same person added, “Many parents will cry ‘foul’ or use the excuse that their children are ‘disadvantaged’ and can’t perform to that level. Bulls***! Kids need to be rewarded when it is deserved, not just so everyone will ‘feel good’ and be all warm and fuzzy. Life has its ups and downs, and it’s just life. You don’t always win or get your way. Teach this. Kudos to you for your stand. The kids need a teacher like you!”
What Teachers Deserve
Then, some made sure to remind the world that with all the hardships teachers face and all the effort they put into educating children, they deserve respect and honor.
“I just still can’t believe you were let go over this! Teachers deserve respect and support from their administrators and parents, not this entitlement, bologna! I side with you,” someone said.
A Political Perspective
Some people even got political in sharing their thoughts and implied that such a system is manipulated to favor Democrats.
A commenter wrote, “Democrats don’t want educated kids because they know well-educated people who do research won’t buy into their lies!”
Open Your Mind to New Things!
Some users shared their personal experiences that showed how flawed their education system is.
Someone wrote, “When my second daughter was in eighth grade, I asked her math teacher about homework. Her response was she didn’t ever give homework because the students either don’t do it or cheat. I was shocked! I don’t care if that happens. There should still be homework given.”
The same person also said, “There are life skills learned by being given homework. There are also lessons that can be learned when they are held accountable for cheating or missed assignments. It’s such a disservice to our children and our country’s future. And we wonder why things are the way they are.”
The Real World
Then, others pointed out how Diana was readying her students to face the ups and downs of the real world. This was her job as a teacher, and she shouldn’t have been punished for it!
One woman said, “When these children become adults and get jobs, they won’t be given 50% of the credit for completing nothing at all. Students should be graded in a way that prepares them for their future jobs and the world.”
Another wrote, “No wonder kids are lazy and uneducated—no winners or losers, nothing to gain or lose, making a useless generation. Whatever happened to education? So sad.”
Do you think Diana was right? Should she have given her students a 50% grade?
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This post first appeared as An 8th-Grade Teacher Was Unjustly Fired After She “Defied” the School’s System and Gave Her Students a Zero on Their Unsubmitted Homework Despite Its “No Zero Policy.” Was She Wrong? on Quote Ambition.