In the era of participation trophies, which occurs when kids get credit for showing up, a teacher in Florida has been fired for refusing to go along with that concept. The eighth-grade history teacher had assigned her students an explorer notebook project and gave them two weeks to complete it, but several students did not turn in their work. School policy dictates that students get a 50-percent mark, even when they do not do their homework. The teacher felt this was wrong and issued zeros to those students who did not do the assignment.
The teacher, who began working at the Florida school this year, had been teaching for more than 17 years. However, she was still in the probationary period when she was fired. Although she claims it was because of the zeros she gave to students who had not turned in their work, the school did not mention a specific reason. Administrators simply stated that she had been contracted on a probationary period and could be dismissed without cause.
The school handbook offers the following instruction, written in red that no zeros were to be issued and the lowest possible grade is 50 percent. When asked about their policy, school district officials responded that their grading system utilizes letter grades A through F, numerical grades zero to 100, and grade point averages from four to zero. When asked to further clarify the 50 percent rule, the response was even more confusing. They stated that some classroom teachers and school faculties have discussed the range of points for work submitted in each grading category.
The teacher is fighting back as she strongly believes that the no-zeros grading policy will only hurt students in the long run. She is considering a wrongful termination lawsuit to continue the fight.
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