The superintendent of a Treasure Coast school district is defending a policy of not giving students a zero even if they do not turn in their assignments.
This comes after a former teacher says she was fired for not doing so.
St. Lucie Public Schools Superintendent E. Wayne Gent says the policy to give students a 50 percent grade for work not turned in is about ensuring that struggling students don’t fall behind.
“You want to make sure that the grade themselves are not punitive in nature. Students are required to meet certain standards. If you don’t meet it on the first shot then we’re going to give you other opportunities to meet it," Gent said, speaking to local news outlets.
"The easy way is to say, 'Ok, we’re going to move on and leave you behind,' and that student is going to be unsuccessful," he said. "That’s not the culture that we’ve established in the school district.”
Gent’s response came after Diane Tirado, a former eighth-grade history teacher at a school in the district, claims that she lost her job after not agreeing to follow the policy listed in the student and parent handbook.
St. Lucie Public Schools to not have an overall policy requiring a student receives half credit for all work – and while some parents have come out both for and against the idea, Gent stands by it.
Tirado’s September 14th termination letter does not list an exact reason for her removal, but the longtime teacher posted a message on her classroom board explaining her reasoning and later posted a picture of the message on social media.
The district released a statement saying that her dismissal was because “her performance was deemed sub-standard and her interactions with students, staff, and parents lacked professionalism and created a toxic culture on the school’s campus” among other reasons.