A seventh-grade teacher at Dillon Middle School in South Carolina is facing heavy backlash after parents discovered a demeaning letter pressuring students to get better grades.
“No, you cannot do extra credit to bring up your grade,” the teacher penned near the top of the letter in large bold letters, local news outlet WMBF reports.
“If your grade is so low that you need help, it’s most likely because you have chosen to do little to no work this grading period in which case history tells me that even if I did give you an assignment for replacement credit, you probably wouldn’t do it anyway,” the teacher added.
“Do us both a favor … Remember how disappointed and upset you feel right now. Take a moment and really let it sink in. Every time you fail to turn in an assignment in the new grading period, think of how you feel right now…”
She concluded her demeaning letter by encouraging her students to do their work when it is assigned if they were truly interested in improving their grades.
Parents such as Stacy Hargrove have reached out to local media outlets, as well as the school district, to express how unhappy they are with the tough love approach the unnamed teacher has taken to improve the grades of her students.
Speaking to WMBF through an email, Hargrove confirmed this demeaning letter was not an isolated incident, as the teacher in question is known for talking to her students in a degrading manner with no compassion. Hargrove went on to explain to the media outlet that being a good teacher is about more than just having students who perform well on tests, as it is also about knowing how to be compassionate with them.
A separate unnamed parent confirmed to WMBF that many students admitted they did not enjoy going to this particular teacher’s classroom. This parent continued to explain this was a teacher who believed she could never be wrong.
A third individual — Gina Brewer — disagreed with the no-nonsense approach the teacher has taken with her students and noted that children were prone to making mistakes.
Teacher slammed for sending students 'demeaning' letter about bad grades https://t.co/yOSc6B4nwq— TomH (@TomH93213073) April 27, 2019
Gina went on to explain part of the learning process for students involves getting second chances to do things better and in the right way. She believed part of being a good teacher was supporting students, which was something she did not think this teacher was doing with this letter.
Dillon District 4 Superintendent Ray Rogers has issued a statement in response to the parental outcry, saying that administrators did not approve the letter before it was distributed to the students. While Rogers was unwilling to go into too much detail regarding personnel matters, he did reassure everyone that the situation would be taken seriously. He also noted that the district has an “open door policy” for staff, students, and parents to use at any time, should they need to voice concerns.