Teacher Fired For Giving Zeros Treated Unfairly

A couple years ago, Lynden Dorval, a teacher in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, was suspended, then fired for giving students zeros on tests they missed and assignments they didn’t hand in.  Sounds unfair, doesn’t it?  Well, the provincial appeal board agrees with him, it was unfair.

So, why was he fired?  Well, it was against school policy to give zeros.  Then what was he supposed to do when students failed to hand in assignments or missed tests?  Give them endless extensions until they finally did them?  What if they never do? Give them a passing grade anyway?  This policy is ridiculous.

It seems that these days schools are being incredibly soft on students.  They don’t want to hurt their feelings by giving them failing grades.  They are precious snowflakes that need to be protected from failure.  It’s a terrible lesson to students to say that they can fail and suffer no consequences.  If they don’t do their work, they should fail.  They should get a zero.

Mr. Dorval was right in this, in my opinion.  The school’s policy is flawed, and it only encourages false reporting of grades.  What’s ridiculous is that the school board is going to appeal.  So they want to strip this good teacher of his pension and pay for their unethical treatment of him?  The Edmonton Public School Board needs to go back to school and learn how to treat people properly.  They are wrong in this, and I encourage any parent in Edmonton to complain to the school board about their intention to appeal.  It’s inexcusable.

If this happened in your area, what would you do?

8 thoughts on “Teacher Fired For Giving Zeros Treated Unfairly”

  1. I remember hearing about this suspension when it happened. I thought it was ridiculous and sad. Students have to learn to be accountable for their actions. I am finding there is more pressure on schools these days to demonstrate that their students are getting good grades (even if they are not actually learning) and this is not helping matters at all. We need to acknowledge the reality of a student’s true situation so that they can get the help that they need, and so that they have the motivation to do better. It’s not going to get any easier for them when they grow up.

  2. When I was a high school teacher (years ago, in a part of the US not noted for valuing education), I was told that not only did I have to give every student a passing grade no matter what, I had to give them all a PERFECT grade, because anything less would “make them feel bad.”

    This sort of thing is one of the reasons why I decided that a career in teaching was not for me.

    1. I teach now, but not a public school. We’re also very honest when we grade students, but this is totally different than school grades. And most are adults, anyway.

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