Diane Tirado, a longtime teacher, was hired to teach history to eighth graders at a school in Port St. Lucie, Florida. During her probationary period, Diane gave her class a new project, with two weeks to complete.
When the due date arrived, a handful of students had no work to turn in. That’s when Diane first learned about the school’s “no zero” grading policy.
Diane says the student and parent handbook declares “NO ZEROS — LOWEST POSSIBLE GRADE IS 50%” in bright red lettering.
Confused and reluctant, Diane went to speak with the administrators. She says she was told that, yes, teachers were to give students 50% — even if they turned no work in.
Diane rejected the policy, stating, “A grade in Mrs. Tirado’s class is earned.”
She was fired shortly thereafter, but since she was in her probationary period, no specific reason for the termination was given. Diane believes she was fired for being a tough grader.
While packing up her classroom after hours, Diane scrawled a message to her students on the whiteboard before taking off for good: “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. 💓 Mrs. Tirado.”
Many students showed their support for their former teacher, and her whiteboard message was shared hundreds of times.