Mother Goes Viral After Son’s Teacher Issues ‘Zero’ Grade Over School Supplies
Shanitta Busby‘s 13-year-old son was issued a “zero” for failing to bring in specific supplies requested by his math teacher. The frustrated mother took to TikTok in a now-viral video that has sparked a debate about who should be responsible for equipping classrooms with necessities.
@shanittanicole Am I doing too much? #fyp #school ♬ original sound – Snooze ❣️
“He comes home and he says ‘My teacher is going to give me a zero if I don’t bring in the classroom supplies’,” Busby explains in the video. “And I’m like ‘Why would she give you a zero, why are you getting a grade for it?'”
The mother went on to explain that the requested items consisted of supplies that would be used for the classroom in general, in which her son spends only 50 minutes per school day, and for the teacher’s personal educational purposes.
“So, the next week he still has a zero…I email the teacher and I say ‘I’m kinda concerned because my student has an 83 in the class and everything else in the class is 100s and 98s’,” she continued.
“‘And he still has a zero for something called ‘classroom supplies.’ We bought the supplies anyway but I don’t think it’s the parent’s responsibility to supply your classroom’.”
Busby’s video has been viewed over a million times and received over 9,000 comments from parents and educators with mixed reactions to the teacher’s request.
“You are not wrong!” one user commented. “It’s 100% ok for her to ask for supplies, but mandate it for a grade? Absolutely not.”
Still, some educators believed the teacher was well within her rights to ask parents to help them bear a load unfairly placed on them by the school district.
“It’s not appropriate for us as teachers to buy things for everybody else’s kids but we do,” one user added.
@shanittanicole Replying to @yafavv._.dancer😍😘💞😍😍💞 Graded Supplies Update #fyp #school ♬ original sound – Snooze ❣️
In a follow-up video, Busby revealed that she’d received an apology from the school’s principal, who informed her that the district had provided supplies for students; therefore, the teacher’s request was not one born out of a need.
“It’s not a standard practice to penalize students grade-wise for the lack of supplies,” the principal wrote in a statement Busby shared on TikTok.
Concerns about how students from low-income families may be punished for their inability to purchase additional supplies for classrooms also rang throughout the comments.
“I’d hate to think an underprivileged gifted student’s grade is penalized for something not under their control,” another user said.