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Shanitta Nicole Busby, a mother, took to TikTok to explain her frustration at her 13-year-old son’s teacher for giving him a zero after not having classroom supplies.
In the viral video, Shanitta explains she and her seventh-grade son moved to a new town before he started school.
She provided her child with everything he needed for his honor class that was required on the list. She then explains the list was different from the previous school but ensured that her child was well-equipped for class.
Facing Zeroes: Mom’s Stress Over Mandatory Classroom Supplies
The mother states one day, her child came home and said his teacher required classroom supplies. During the third week, her child returned home stating that he is a teacher will give him a zero if he does not bring in classroom materials.
The supplies needed for class were not for her son’s homeroom class. Instead, it was intended for another honor class that he is in for fifty minutes each day.
Shanitta provided classroom supplies for his homeroom class already. Shanitta stated she does not understand why a teacher is requiring classroom supplies, especially when he is not in that homeroom class.
Shannitta, confused and annoyed with the teacher, still decided to obtain classroom supplies so her student will not be penalized. According to the mother, she supplies her son with many materials for school, such as tissues, Clorox wipes, hand sanitizers, pencils, expo markers, and red pens.
Parent Advocacy: Mom Challenges Grade Penalty Over Unsupplied Classroom Materials
His math grade had dropped from a 98 to an 83 because of the zero, Shanitta told Insider.
Despite supplying her son with the required classroom materials, the teacher still had not adjusted his grade.
Taking matters into her own hands, Shanitta emailed his professor to inquire further, claiming, “I don’t feel like its the parent’s responsibility to supply your classroom and I definitely don’t think it is appropriate to assign a grade to students, based on whether or not they supplied your class with supplies.”
The teacher responded back and updated the child’s grade. The teacher said, “I appreciate an involved parent, and I’ll update his grade today.”
Although the grade was altered, Shanitta’s other questions about having to supply the classroom was not answered by his teacher.
Not receiving a response to her satisfaction, Shanitta decides to email the principal about her frustrations. The principal reached out back to Shanitta, calling her and apologizing for what had happened.
Principal Intervenes: Grades, Classroom Supplies, and a Viral Debate on Responsibility
The principal stated that teachers are permitted to ask for donations of supplies. However, they cannot require students to bring it, let alone assign a mandatory grade to each student if said requirements are not met.
Moreover, the principal claimed that she was going to forward Shanitta’s email to the teacher’s direct supervisor, the Math Department Assistant Principal. After analyzing the email and speaking with Shanitta, the principal agreed with Shanitta, claiming, “it’s not a standard practice to penalize student grade-wise for the lack of supplies.”
While many believe classroom supplies should be supplied by the school, others think that parents should cover the cost of materials for the classroom.
The debate has received over 1.8 million views on TikTok.