I have a student who was failing my class. She was failing two other classes. All of the teachers who had been there longer warned me to just give this student good grades. “It isn’t worth it,” they said. Statements like that offended me, and I stuck to my ethics, and gave her the grade she had earned.

Her parents immediately complained when progress reports came out, and they found out that their daughter was failing my class. They requested a meeting where they claimed that I was giving their daughter zeros on assignments that she had turned in. I pointed out that I have the students put all assignments in a drop box on the class website, and showed that the student had not been logging in to the website at all. They backed down.

I offered to help the student, and the other students who were failing, by setting up after school tutoring sessions where attendance was requried for anyone with less than a C. The vast majority of these students thrived on this, and raised their grades to a C or higher. This student refused to do work, and became a royal pain. She complained and fought doing anything the entire time. She and her parents insisted that they didn’t accomplish anything during tutoring, and that I am a bad teacher who is giving the student failing grades because I do not like her.

The student began taking photos of my class and tutoring sessions, and tried nitpicking about everything. In one picture, she showed a student with a soda in tutoring, which is not allowed. She insisted that I was not enforcing the rules. I was called into the vice-principal’s office and told that it looked bad that I was not enforcing the rules.

So, the very next day, the student who complained was sitting there in class eating during class. I wrote her a detention, as per the rules. Now she is complaining that I wrote her a detention. I pointed out to the VP that this girl was complaining that the rules were not being enforced. and now that they are, she is upset because she has to follow them as well as everyone else.

The parents and the student are bragging that they are going to get me fired. It looks like it is going to go that way, if I don’t just pass her. I am beginning to see why the other teachers just give this girl a passing grade. They are right, it isn’t worth the hassle. It isn’t worth my job.

This is why our education system is a mess.

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